A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack—and fell in love with Anne Bonny.
There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.
At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate.
The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.
For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.
Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar.
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Miriam McNamara earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she won the Norma Fox Mazer award for a historical young adult manuscript work-in-progress. The Unbinding of Mary Reade is her first novel. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
What People are Saying About This
“ The Unbinding of Mary Reade is a rollicking, breathtaking adventure full of heart, passion, wit, and intelligence. I was turning pages fast as a wind fills a sail, marveling at the talent that is Miriam McNamara.”
An Na, Printz Award Winner and National Book Award Finalist for A Step from Heaven
“A captivating account of gender, feminism, agency, and all manner of desiremost importantly, the desire to be free. Badass, through and through.”
M-E Girard, Lambda Literary Award Winner and William C. Morris Award Finalist for Girl Mans Up
“Issues of gender identity and who and how to love make The Unbinding of Mary Reade resonate as strongly in the present as in the past. Action-packed, this romantic tale is bound to entice teen and adult readers alike.”
Cordelia Jensen, author of Skyscraping and The Way the Light Bends
“Fantastic, unique, and inclusively diverse young adult fiction . . . You had me at ‘queer pirates.’ *grabby hands*”
“Canonically queer pirate girls? Yes, please.”
Barnes & Noble Teen Blog
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this story. There was lots of romance, and a bit of suspense too. I flew through this story. It was very fast paced. The chapters alternated between different years. Some flashed back to Mary’s young years, or her first journey on a ship, while others returned to her current pirate life. This made the Mary’s past more mysterious because some parts of her past life are saved until the end. As soon as I started reading this, I had to look up Mary Reade, who was a real pirate. I could could tell from the way the story was written, that it was based on a true story. Mary’s story is fascinating. She was a woman who dressed up as a man so she could be a pirate. Her mother raised her as a boy because her son, Mark, died after Mary was born. Her son was the grandson of a very rich woman, and she wanted her illegitimate daughter to inherit the woman’s wealth instead. It is a crazy premise for a story, but it is what actually happened to Mary. I’m curious about Mary Reade now, so I will keep my eyes open for more of her story. I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this book from the book distributor Thomas Allen & Son.
Based on historical records, The Unbinding of Mary Reade follows the life of a young woman who survives impossible odds as a pirate. She has the skills and ammunition to outwit the best in a male-dominated society. Her topsy-turvy world inspires her to claw her way out of her world and find what she loves. This wild Irish woman has a built-in navigational compass that brings her to a safe harbor.
I loved this book from top to bottom. The characters were marvelous especially Mary.
Thanks to Edelweiss and Sky Pony Press for the opportunity to read and review The Unbinding of Mary Reade! Mary hides on the ship when Pirates attack and she unexpectedly kills the Captain and swears allegiance to the Pirate Captain. The next chapter goes back in time and tells us how Mary disguised herself, as her dead brother Mark, to please her mother and to receive money from her grandmother. Her mother calls her a bastard girl and tells her that she’s unacceptable in society or in the family. From then on Mary stays disguised as a boy everywhere except when she’s alone with her mother, who’s drunk most of the time. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present and eventually they catch up to each other, with Mary trying to figure out and understand her place in the world. Action and a delicate, tactful handling of Mary’s relationships and how she finally decides what suits her true-self best. A 4 star adventure!