Enjoyable, well written Historical Novel
On Dec. 13, 2017 on Amazon — 5.0 out of 5 stars
By John H. Manhold
Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase
That Woman ISBN: 9780992120276, a historical tale copyright and written by Wayne Clark.
The basics of this tale are the vicious practice of Indentured Service, a slave-like practice in early colonization of America along with the intricacies and perils of commercial trading in the 18th century – complicated by all of the international intrigue and wars and the greed of the governments as well as many of the traders. Gabriel Da Silva, a Jewish trader based in France after he has lost heavily when a ship carrying his un-insured cargo is seized by the British, goes to Bordeaux accompanied by his 17-year-old daughter Sarah and her 19-year-old brother Jacob. Here, in an attempt to salvage his business he is detained longer than expected while negotiating with a ship’s master. The two youngsters are kidnapped, smuggled aboard a ship heading to America with others to be sold there as Indentured Servants. While aboard, the ship’s Captain Flemming discovers that Sarah is well versed in commercial affairs and speaks several languages, from years of helping her father and that Jacob has many similar talents but also is particularly adept in the basics of design and copying. The Captain provides them a few extra amenities for which they must forge documents that give him 100+ acres of land in PA belonging to William Penn, the first controller of the region. Sarah secretly retains the original. They arrive in New York where Sarah is indentured to wealthy and greedy trader Zachariah Croman while Jacob’s contract is purchased by Henry Fitler, Esq. Engraver and they do not see each other for 2 years. Croman rapes Sarah and upon a third attempt, she uses a knife she has received from a black longshoreman she has befriended while in waterfront negotiations, to force Croman to sign papers of freedom and supply her with a house and stocked warehouse. Sarah is doing well but then a fire is started by minions of Croman that destroys her warehouse and home. From this point the story escalates to involve numerous other interesting characters and becomes a tale of mystery, intrigue, romance and well designed and executed retribution.
The author has provided a historical novel written in the old time-honored style that seemingly is not as frequently offered to today’s readers of other than The Historical Novel Society’s publications. It is well plotted, well written, well-paced and enjoyable reading for anyone enjoying Historical Novels.