10 May 2021


 My sincere apologies to both author Anna M Holmes and, tour organiser, Rachel. Sadly I was unable to post my thoughts on Wayward Voyage on the designated day due to my being admitted to hospital days previously. FGT

One of thirty bloggers, another of whom is fellow blogger and follower of Pen and Paper, Gina of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers fame, who over seven days will be participating in this Blog Tour (the full list of which can be found in the Schedule at the bottom of the post). Today (what would have been the 3rd day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on  ...


Genre: Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: 28th April 2021

Standalone Novel

Estimated Page Count - 475

Types of post available: 

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wayward-Voyage-Anna-M-Holmes/dp/1913551725/

Anne is a headstrong young girl growing up in the frontier colony of Carolina in the early eighteenth century. With the death of her mother, and others she holds dear, Anne discovers that life is uncertain, so best live it to the full. She rejects the confines of conventional society and runs away to sea, finding herself in the Bahamas, which has become a nest for pirates plaguing the West Indies. Increasingly dissatisfied with her life, Anne meets a charismatic former pirate, John 'Calico Jack' Rackham, and persuades him to take up pirating again, and she won't be left onshore. The Golden age of Piracy is a period when frontiers were being explored and boundaries pushed. Wayward Voyage creates a vivid and gritty picture of colonial life in the Americas and at sea.

A short extract from the first chapter can be viewed here. in order for you to get a taste for the author.

With her new woollen cloak wrapped against a biting spring wind, Anne raised herself on tiptoe and peeped over the handrail of the William and Mary. {First Sentence, Chapter 1}

The small child needed clothing and James proved a surprising teacher. Years at sea had taught him self-reliance: sewing pants and shirts, mending sails and nets. While Anne tried to teach him to read and write, which he showed little aptitude for, he schooled her in some necessary domestic skills. Enough to get by. It was James who added flourishing touches to their joint sewing efforts, and once she returned home to find him delicately embroidering tiny flowers around the hem of a small dress. He looked up sheepishly, no longer indifferent to the baby. Nancy had claimed a big place in his heart. {Memorable Moment, Page 116 Please note some of the text has been omitted in order to avoid any spoilers. In order to view the full text simply scroll over the omitted text.}

MY THOUGHTS: As with many others I'm sure my experience of 'pirate' novels has all too often entailed swashbuckling romances involving handsome, daring pirates in leather trousers rescuing maidens with heaving bosoms. Not that there is anything wrong with this (after all, I'm all for a bit of swashbuckling every now and again myself). Its just refreshing to find a novel such as Wayward Voyage; a novel inspired by two actual 'lady pirates', Anne Bonny and Mary (aka Mark) Read, both good, strong females leads who aren't constrained by social etiquette or gender expectations, the author managing to retain enough of the romanticism and swashbuckling adventure of the high seas all without straying into the unbelievable. 

Wonderful settings. A life on board ship and all the hardships that might entail, the sights, smells and sounds of eighteenth century Nassau with its society ladies and their genteel gatherings, its pirates and the seedy taverns come brothels they frequent, all beautifully captured. A life that sees a woman scorn 'women's work', much preferring the 'manly' pursuits of hunting, shooting and swordsmanship, a life at sea temporarily put on hold until, the call too strong to resist for long, the lure proves too much, a life that treads the fine line between privateering and piracy, 

a life that sees a woman passing herself off as a man; her experience of seamanship and combat enabling her to sign aboard ship, all beautifully explored.

A hefty 475 pages long, the story toing and froing between several protagonists on occasion disrupting the flow the flow of the novel. Though that said, at the same time this held my interest, keeping me guessing if the four threads that were Anne, James, Mary/Mark and Jack's stories would converge and, if so, how and when.

ABOUT ANNA M HOLMES: Anna is originally from New Zealand and lives in the U.K. with her Dutch partner.

WAYWARD VOYAGE is Anna’s first novel. She has been fascinated by the lives of women pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, for a long time. Some years ago, she visualised this story as a screenplay before exploring and building their world more deeply as a novel. WAYWARD VOYAGE made a longlist of 11 for the Virginia Prize in Women’s Fiction 2020.

BLIND EYE an eco-thriller, will be published by The Book Guild in September, so this year, 2021, Anna will have two novels coming out. Her screenplay, BLIND EYE, is joint winner of the 2020 Green Stories screenplay competition. 

A documentary about pioneers of flamenco in the UK that Anna produced and directed was screened in Marbella International Film Festival and in London. This passion project ensures a slice of cultural history has been captured. It is available on YouTube and via a portal on her website.

She holds a Humanities B.A, a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an M.A. in Dance Studies. Initially she worked as a radio journalist before a career in arts management working with U.K. Arts Councils and as an independent producer, dance history lecturer and she has run a dance development agency.

Anna is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and enjoys practising flamenco. Writing, dance, and yoga shape her life.

FOLLOW ANNA M HOLMES: ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ FaceBook

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE: ~ 28th April: Zoe’s book Nook ~ Book Escapes with BabsW67 ~ @amyreads1000 ~ 29th April: My Bookish Bliss ~ Anna's Book Blog ~ Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers ~ 30th April: Historical Fiction with Spirit ~ Jessica Belmont ~ Felicity Grace Terry ~ 1st May: Ruins & Reading ~ B for bookreview ~ @rozierreadsandwine ~ 2nd May: Northernreader ~ Laura's Interests ~ Jera's Jamboree ~ 3rd May: Chez Maximka ~ Colin Garrow ~ Reading Tonic ~ 4th May: donnasbookblog ~ 33 South Textworks ~ Booky Charm ~ 5th May: Mama Bear's book hour ~ Four Moon Reviews ~ Wall-to-wall books ~ 6th May: Ceri's Little Blog ~ Louise’s Reading Corner ~ Cheryl M-M's Book Blog ~ 7th May: What Cathy Read Next ~ The Magic Of Wor(l)ds ~ everywhere and nowhere ~ 

The second of two books I'll be sharing my thoughts on today. If you haven't already done so please be sure to pop to learn what I thought of Jude Lennon's Sir Lambalot


Kelly said...

I don't think I've read about any female pirates before and this sounds interesting! I hope that the four threads did finally come together. I might have to keep an eye out for this one.

nightwingsraven said...

Before I read your review I
was already familiar with
Anne Bonney and Mary Read.
And this sounds definitely
like a compelling book with
truly memorable characters.
I will keep it in mind and
thank you for your excellent
and enthusiastic review.

Gina said...

Thanks for the shout out my friend! <3 As for the book, I found the premise interesting as well! You're right, pirate books have a certain expectation about them, but this one definitely sounds refreshing! (P.S. SO glad to hear you're on the mend!)

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Felicity,

I am so sorry to hear that you have had another poorly spell in hospital. I just don't seem to get the time to Blog Hop as much as I would like to, which I know is no excuse and doesn't make me much of a 'friend'! It was good to have you drop by today and to know that you are obviously feeling a little better and I hope that you continue to improve day by day.

Probably not a book for me, although in all fairness I too don't think I have ever read a book about female pirates before, so I have no basis on which to make that comment. Watching "Pirates of the Caribbean" is probably about the closest I have come to a female pirate - and that wouldn't really count I'm guessing! :)

Thinking of you and I hope that you feel like making up for lost time with your reading, as your reviews are always so lively and lovely :)

Anonymous said...

I have just spotted your review. Thank you, especially knowing you have been unwell!

Anna M Holmes

Melliane said...

I didn't know about this one but you made me intrigued

Sophia Rose said...

Ah, man, sorry you had a stint in the hospital. Glad you are better.

Love stories of Anne Bonny. I wasn't familiar with Mark/Mary. This does sound like a good one. I'll have to add it to my list.