Pirates by Celia Rees
Nancy Kington has been raised, for the most part, as a proper English lady. But when her dad dies, she is sent to his plantation in the West Indies. There she learns that she is to be married off to a cruel man who owns the neighboring plantation. She and her new-found friend and slave, Minerva, escape aboard a pirate ship. And that is where the adventure begins.
I picked this book up because it was voted a Teen's Top Ten Pick by Amazon. Nancy was a great character to tell this story - her voice is authentic and compelling. I found myself feeling trapped when she was trapped and free when she was sailing the seas. I'm also all about strong secondary characters in books and Pirates! has a lot of great characters, including Graham, the pirate ship's doctor, and Broom, the ship's captain. Celia Rees added some interesting philosophical elements about pirates and the British navy. As Nancy finds out, neither is all good or all bad. It reminded me a lot of Jean Ferris' Into the Wind series, which I read about 20 times while growing up and highly recommend. Nancy is a gritty main character, full of introspection. In the Into the Wind series, Rosie is sheltered and full of curiosity about the world. Similar time period and similar issues, but different plots and main characters.