A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself

Holt. Nov. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250304889. $28.99. F
In 1726, Hannah Maury, an orphan working at a seafront Massachusetts tavern, witnesses the hanging of a pirate. Chastened by the stark reality of justice served, she encounters a young cabin boy hidden in the barn behind her house. The boy has been branded a traitor by the pirate crew and has received a “black spot” marking him for death. Hannah attempts to help him but gets drawn into danger after the pirates murder him and then threaten her. She steals the boy’s boots, identity, and position on a ship set to sail. Fast-forward to 1930. Professor Marian Beresford’s student has presented her with a manuscript written by Hannah, describing her voyage on the ship that turned pirate. The tale details the terror of sailing with men who have no moral compass and Hannah’s constant fear of being exposed as a woman. Marian, determined to follow the clues detailed by Hannah, finds herself perilously close to losing her credibility and having her own secrets brought to light.
VERDICT Howe (The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs) has created a suspenseful, swashbuckling adventure filled with fiendish characters and historic detail.
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