Mutiny's Daughter

Mutiny's Daughter

5.0 2
by Ann Rinaldi
     
 

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What if?

In the most famous mutiny in the world, Fletcher Christian risked imprisonment by leading a rebellion aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789. But what happened to Fletcher Christian after that? There were stories that he survived a vicious massacre in the South Pacific and boarded a ship back to England. We know that he had several children by his

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Overview

What if?

In the most famous mutiny in the world, Fletcher Christian risked imprisonment by leading a rebellion aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789. But what happened to Fletcher Christian after that? There were stories that he survived a vicious massacre in the South Pacific and boarded a ship back to England. We know that he had several children by his Polynesian wife, including a daughter named Mary. Could he and Mary have reunited in England?

Respected writer of historical fiction Ann Rinaldi brings her magic touch to the fascinating prospect "What if?" and weaves an enthralling tale told through the words of Fletcher Christian's fourteen-year-old daughter, Mary. Behind the privileged walls of her new boarding school, Mary struggles to fit in, trying not to reveal the identity of her father, who dishonored his family name.

Rollicking adventures await Mary as she ventures out into London's crowded streets, desperately searching to see her father's loving face one more time.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
What happened to Mary whose father Fletcher Christian led the mutiny on the HMS Bounty? Did she and he return to England from Pitcairn Island? No one really knows, but this engrossing novel explores the possibilities. The author sets the scene with historical background then launches into a life that might have been. Fourteen-year-old Mary lives with her grandmother on the Isle of Man. She longs to see her father who disappeared shortly after returning. Nobody will even talk about him, since his actions disgraced the family. Her uncle offers to send her to school in London, where she knows she must uphold what's left of the family honor. The appealing heroine faces many challenges, not the least of which is a roommate determined to compromise her honor and expose her closely-held secrets. When Mary proposes a charitable project for the students, she gets to know a man who may or may not be her father. The author, who provides a strong bibliography at the end of the book, deftly weaves the atmosphere of the early 19th century throughout the fascinating story. Samuel Taylor Coleridge whose poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was supposed to be about Fletcher Christian, visits Mary's school to talk about his poetry. And there are references to Charles Lamb, William Wordsworth, the actor John Kemble and other prominent figures of the time. Ms. Rinaldi, author of more than 30 novels, has had eight of her novels named ALA Best Books for Young Adults. 2004, Harper Collins Publishers, Ages 8 to 12.
—Janet Crane Barley
KLIATT
Fletcher Christian, Samuel Taylor Cole-ridge, Mary Wollstonecraft—these are names readers may not be familiar with, but this story will be an introduction to them. The main character, Mary, is the daughter of Fletcher Christian, born after the mutiny on the Bounty when Christian took refuge on an island in Tahiti and married a native woman. Christian is a criminal because of his role in the mutiny, and must stay in hiding. Rinaldi does a "what if" story here—what if Christian and his little daughter managed to come to England and Mary was passed off as the daughter of Christian's brother and raised by her grandmother? Then, the story begins as Mary is in adolescence and the family proposes that she attend a school in London run by women devoted to the ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft and the equality of women. The other girls at the school also seem to have irregular backgrounds and they love telling fanciful histories of themselves. One girl, however, unearths the truth that Mary is the daughter of Fletcher Christian and uses that knowledge to blackmail her. Coleridge? Well, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner may be about Mary's father, Flet-cher Christian, or so Mary thinks. The plot becomes one of boarding school themes: jealousy among the girls, breaking the rules, and so forth. Added to this is Mary's longing to know her father and about how the two are reunited. Rinaldi knows how to appeal to YA readers, especially those who like historical fiction. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, HarperCollins, 220p. bibliog., Ages 12 to 15.
—Claire Rosser
VOYA
Rinaldi's legion of fans will welcome this spirited account of what might have happened to Mary, daughter of Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty fame. In this story, Fletcher Christian survives to bring his five-year-old daughter back to the Isle of Man where her grandmother then raises her. Mary knows about her heritage, but because of her father's dangerous infamy, she is told to claim him as her uncle and her uncle as her father. In this story, Mary, now fourteen, travels to London to enroll in an exclusive boarding school for girls. Her adventures in London bring her face-to-face with her father, whose identity she must protect at all costs, and her courage in the face of real danger makes her a true heroine. All the main characters in this novel have flesh and individuality, and although the plot seems a bit contrived at times, the story romps along with enough spark that it will certainly interest passionate readers of historical fiction. The sense of place and time is excellent, with palpable descriptions of the Isle of Man, Lake Windermere, and London. The ending begs for another story, one in which Mary will travel to America in search of her father, whose brush with discovery caused him to flee England. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2004, HarperCollins, 224p., and PLB Ages 11 to 14.
—Leslie Carter
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Once again, Rinaldi has unearthed a historical nugget and polished it into a gem of a story. This intriguing novel is based on the premise of what could have happened if the notorious Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian returned to England with his five-year-old daughter, who was born on Pitcairn Island, and left her on the Isle of Man to be raised by his mother, before he went into hiding. Now 14, Mary is forced to live a lie, as she must pretend that her uncle is her father in order to save the family's good name. Still, she wonders about the whereabouts of her real father, and hopes that she will someday see him again. When her grandmother sends her off to a fashionable girls' school in London, this secret becomes a great burden for her to bear, and she must stand up to a fellow student who is threatening to expose her. In the end, through a selfless act, she is finally reunited with the father for whom she has been longing. The author sets the scene with an introduction that provides a bit of background and sifts through what is fact and what is fiction in a note at the end. The characters are well drawn and believable and the 19th-century English setting is vividly presented. This clever, well-written historical novel may just inspire curious readers to investigate the personalities and events on which the story is based.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mary is the daughter of a Tahitian woman and the famous Fletcher Christian, leader of the mutiny against Captain Bligh on the Bounty in 1789. Now back in England, she is a traitor to some, a hero to others. To avoid disgrace to the family name, her Uncle Charles becomes her surrogate father, and Mary is known as the niece of the legendary mutineer at the fancy girls' school she attends. Rinaldi's story is a quiet, reflective study of character and class in early-19th-century London. The parallel between the mutiny and the social unrest of the times is subtly drawn, with Mary's life of privilege at Misses Hartsdale's School for Young Ladies in contrast with the world of rat boys, chimney sweeps, homeless children, and violence on the streets of London. Young readers might prefer a novel of the mutiny itself, but will appreciate Mary's plight as an outsider trying to find her place in the world. (Fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060296391
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/03/2004
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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