Friday, 10 June 2011

False Colours by Judith Saxton

In the end, Frankie has decided to follow Trevor's advice — to leave home. She goes to meet him at a port, where he's promised to find her work, and when she thinks she's found the ship that he's on, she goes aboard. But it's the wrong ship and before she can undo her mistake, she finds herself at sea on a fishing trawler headed for the Arctic.
Not only does Frankie have to endure the rough life on board, but, having been mistaken for the galley boy, she must maintain the pretence of being a man. And when the skipper discovers her secret, she finds that she is now in his power.

Despite having very little story line and a painfully predictable ending (yeah it is another one of those but what do you expect of a romance) this is actually one of my favourite book – I know, shock/horror right. I just feel sorry that it wasn’t as good as it could have been. There was so much that could have been played with but was missed.

But, still, one of my favourite books.

It has a plot device that has been seen many, many, MANY times. That being a girl being dresses as a boy and thereby being mistaken for a boy.

Frankie, through a mix up ends up on a trawler heading to the arctic instead of the cruise ship she was meant to be on. And – of course – the captain ends up being the only one (for a while anyway) who know that she is a girl.

I flinched with embarrassment for Frankie all the way through this book because she trips from one scrape to the next (and sometimes through no fault of her own). That is one of the things although it made me cringe that I liked about this book. She wasn’t perfect and she ended up in trouble all the time.

Another aspect of the story I loved was that she made the best of her circumstance and pulled her weight on the ship. She didn’t make excuses or try to get out of things.

And last but not least. So, the captain was a bit of a pig. Not in the slimy, you-are-so-icky way, but in his attitude. One bit he came out with something along the lines of Frankie belonging to him – and she of course went mental at him and rightly so. But the captain has a soft spot for her (that is pretty obvious) but, soft spot or not, that doesn’t stop him from constantly hinting at sleeping with her. And I am so proud of Frankie. She puts up a fight and refuses, every time. OK so maybe her scruples are worn down a bit towards the end but the matter stands that she didn’t go doing anything she didn’t want to or wasn’t comfortable with – or if she did have to she put up a fight and made her objections known.

There is no sex in this book, which goes to show that a book can still be good with the only thing on the page being kisses.

I would have loved this book to have been a. longer, b. more padded out, c. told better (sorry but the writing isn’t exactly Charles Dickens but very good story all the same.

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