A Wild and True Relation
A Wild & True Relation opens during the Great Storm of 1703, as smuggler Tom West confronts his lover Grace for betraying him to the Revenue. Leaving Grace's cottage in flames, he takes her orphaned daughter Molly on board ship disguised as a boy to join his crew. But Molly, or Orlando as she must call herself, will grow up to outshine all the men of Tom's company and seek revenge - and a legacy - all of her own.
Reviewed on 6th May 2023
I really did not know what I was getting into when I picked up this novel after having read the author, Kim Sherwood, ‘s previous novel (Double or Nothing).
It’s a historical novel with a lot of history, ostensibly about smugglers who operate along the Devon coast, but really about a gender non-conforming child who is brought up by the smugglers.
I found it took a lot longer than usual to get my head into the narrative. The voice used for most of the story is intentionally styled after writing of the time, and so not in the form I’m used to. There are also chapters written in totally different voices and fonts, and one of these fonts I found challenging to focus on.
Very much not my usual type of novel, but once I got past halfway I was finally properly into it, and was able to flow much more though the second half.