Lethe Press, February 2013
Imagine an upper class English girl kidnapped by pirates when she was eleven, and eventually returned to her family. If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably either read the classic book A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, or seen the movie. Whatever you may imagine, Jean Roberta has taken the grown-up Emily far beyond your — or the younger Emily’s — wildest speculations.
This is, indeed, a ”Bawdy Novella,” but there is more to it than that. Emily is a smart, spirited heroine, adventurous enough to see the bright side of the unspoken (and unfounded) assumption that she must be ”damaged goods.” When her romantic affair at a girls’ school is abruptly ended because of her lover’s cowardice, Emily tosses off the constraints of 19th century English society and returns to the sea on a more-or-less pirate ship, the Black Swan, manned by gay fugitives from the British Navy.