Of course, it was disgraceful the way her widowed father allowed her to run wild through the streets of Bristol, England with her best friend William, whose mother ran the local tavern, for heaven’s sake.
And yes, she could have used the manners of a proper finishing school. Still, no one ever thought she’d go this bad.
When it came down to it, though, she didn’t have any good options. Nancy was 16 when storms sunk several of her father ships, sending his business into ruin. To make matters worse, her loving father died suddenly, leaving her in the care of a couple of lazy and greedy brothers.
Before she could recover from the grief of losing her father and her wealth, she was shipped off to her family’s Jamaican sugar plantation. Without her knowledge she’d been promised in marriage to a wealthy but cruel competing plantation owner known as “The Brazilian.”
When Nancy arrives at her plantation she finds Jamaica to be beautiful and exotic. Unfortunately, she’s trapped in the manor with no one to talk to. Slaves are not supposed to mingle with masters, and slaves are the only other people there, aside from the foreman. And she certainly has no interest in mingling with that creep.
Nancy had always been sheltered from the business of the Jamaican slave trade, but now she is smack in the middle of it, and she doesn’t like it. As she earns the trust of her maid and the maid’s daughter, Minerva, her life improves. Theirs does not.
It doesn’t matter that Nancy is, on paper anyway, the plantation owner. The foreman is the boss and a firm believer that slaves should be kept in their place. And he and his whip relished the task.
Before Nancy can be married into this trap forever, she and Minerva take off for the hills where they meet up with a band of pirates. After much debate they are accepted onto the ship where they work and fight alongside the men.
Although pirates are depicted as opportunists, stealing from merchant ships crossing the seas, and killing when they must, there is also an almost good side to them.
They loath the slave trade, and take special pride in attaching a slave ship and setting the slaves free. And many of them, like Nancy and Minerva, have their reasons for needing to escape “respectable lives.”
Pirates! is an exciting adventure, with a couple of love stories and a bit of a mystery thrown in. It’s recommended for grades 7 and up.