Book Review : The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk
The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk is an exciting, fast-paced adventure. The heroes of the story are Ben and Lotti who are both 13 years-old and orphans. They set out to find Ben’s brother who has been declared missing in France, following the aftermath of World War I. They are also running away from their current living arrangements which are less than satisfactory.
Lotti’s aunt and uncle moved into Lotti’s parental home following the death of her parents. They never had children themselves and their only interest in Lotti was her wealth. They sent Lotti off to boarding school until she orchestrated her expulsion so she could come home, much to the chagrin of her aunt and uncle. Lotti had a grandmother in France who she visited regularly when her parents were alive but she hasn’t heard from her for some years.
Ben spent the first four years of his life in an orphanage until he and another orphan, Sam, were adopted by Nathan. Nathan had become a signwriter following a boatyard accident which damaged his leg. The three of them lived happily on the boat, The Sparrowhawk until the war took Sam to France where he was injured. Nathan travelled to France to see Sam but is killed in a bombing attack. Ben was left in the care of a neighbour but following news of the death of her husband, she decided to go and live with her sister. She offered to take Ben with her, but he told her that he had received a letter from the War Office and expected Sam home soon. There was no such letter. The local policeman, concerned about a minor living on his own, decided to investigate and it was time for Lotti and Ben to make their escape.
There is quite a lot of backstory and Natasha Farrant does well to keep the early part of the story moving. The adult characters who come and go throughout the story keep the focus on the children, though it does lead to a sense of “head-hopping.” The story ends well and the children find security for their futures.
The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk, is a story of hope and perseverance, taking risks and rising to challenges. Ben and Lotti are likeable and relatable which makes for an enjoyable read.
Thanks to Christian School Supplier for providing a free book for review.