She saw the Boyd burn
Terri Kessell – Cape Catley - $26.99
This is a first novel from Auckland social historian Terri Kessell whose special interest is in the early contact period of Maori & European in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
Given this special interest then it is not surprising that she has set her debut novel around the burning of the Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour on the Northland coast of New Zealand in December 1809.
Kessell tells the gripping story using Ann Morley, one of the survivors, as her protagonist. The research has been thorough and the two settings, Sydney and the Northland coast, are convincing and her narrative and characterization skills have combined to make for a great read, even if it is somewhat bloodthirsty at times.
She also notes that “after the Boyd incident, ships worldwide would be warned off from visiting New Zealand shores. New Zealand became known as one of the most dangerous places on earth”.
I hope to see more historical novels from this talented writer.