Review: Meg Caddy – Devil’s Ballast

Devil’s Ballast
Meg Caddy

Anne Bonny ran away from her abusive husband at age 18, heading to the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack. But her husband is willing to pay to get her back, and the pirate hunter Barnet is willing to try. Will Anne be able to keep her life as her own? Or will she be forced back to land.

I love that Anne has her own personality. She’s not just a raw, rum-drinkin’ pirate, she’s got her own feelings and problems and baggage. It would have been easy to just make her a hard-headed heroine with no feelings or flaws, but instead we get a character with contradictions and reality. Anne’s life isn’t a daydream – she’s still got to fix the heads (toilets) and beat off the bullies, even if she is sleeping with the captain. She isn’t willing to compromise.

It’s amazing how much action fitted into this novel. Anne Bonny hardly has a dull moment, and when she does it’s right before she skids feet-first into a big mess of trouble. This novel even slightly explores the feelings of PTSD and having a child adopted away. I’m still feeling pumped about this novel, even a week after reading it. I gobbled it up in one sitting.

I’m not quite sure why this novel was called Devil’s Ballast, but it gave it an appropriately ‘piratey’ feel. I’m going to tag it in very lightly as Historical Fiction, because Anne Bonny WAS a real person. But this novel is written in such a way that it could have been complete fiction. Thus I wasn’t sure about Meg’s survival or anything else.

I picked this novel because I had previously really enjoyed this author’s debut work of Waer. I was not disappointed, even if the two novels have nothing in common. I’d recommend this novel for readers aged 13 and up, and I am giving it 4 stars. Well done, Meg Caddy. Keep writing!

Text Publishing | 7th May 2019 | AU$19.99 | paperback

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