Beauty gets to me. That is probably true of most people. But sometimes it causes an actual physical response in me. It could be a line of haunting melody, the reflection of pilings on a lake, a glimpse of someone I love. As I exhale caught up in the wonder of what I see or hear, I forget to take another breath. I often close my eyes, overwhelmed, as my body forces me back to reality and that next breath. At times, I am prepared. Others, not so much.
As I read the first two pages of The Fiddler’s Gun by A.S. Peterson, these lines stole the air right out of me.
…time has a way of leading a person along a crooked path. Sometimes the path is hard to hold to and people fall off along the way. They curse the road for its steep grades and muddy ruts and settle themselves in hinterlands of thorn and sorrow, never knowing or dreaming that the road meant all along to lead them home. Some call that road a tragedy and lose themselves along it. Others, those that see it home, call it an adventure.
And quite an adventure follows. The Fiddler’s Gun tracks Fin Button through her teenage years at the Ebenezer orphan house, where her sharp tongue, quick fists and lack of feminine grace don’t allow her to fit in. She finds solace in Peter LaMee, a fellow orphan, and Bartimaeus Gann, the cook with a fiddle, a gun and a past. As the Revolutionary War begins, Fin’s world is turned upside down. The next few years mold her into the woman she will become, as she trades in the confined life of an orphan for that of a pirate on the high seas. I don’t want to give anything else away, so suffice it to say that her voyage takes her through some dark and dangerous times.
I had high hopes for this book, since I have followed the author for a while now. I can’t say that it lived up to my expectations because it wasn’t what I expected. This book is not a light, entertaining read that you toss aside once finished and never think of again. It is so much more. There is depth, emotion and characters that you will care about. There is excitement, battles and mutiny. Though full of all these things, it also explores the simple yet universal desire to find a home, a place where you are chosen just for who you are. And that is something that anyone should understand.
Oh, and if all that doesn’t convince you that you should buy the book…Fin has red curls, just like me. So what’s not to love?
This is book one of two, so I don’t know how Fin’s story ends. But I hope that time will ultimately see her home.
You can ask to borrow my copy of The Fiddler’s Gun, but I will say no. Now that I have it, I’m not turning it loose. And my copy is already marked up because I underlined my favorite parts. So go buy your own copy of the book from the Rabbit Room.
I received a review copy of the book from the publisher. In all honesty, I had already pre-bought the book. But the review copy let me read it just a little quicker.