Two children cross an ocean, two hundred years apart. One is Sam Robbins, a powder monkey aboard H.M.S. Victory, the ship in which Lord Nelson will die a hero’s death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The other is Molly Jennings, a present-day English girl transplanted from London to America, fighting a battle of her own against loss and loneliness.
This extraordinary time-shifting adventure tells the interwoven stories of Sam and Molly, linked by a mystery. Sam is a farm boy, kidnapped by the “press gang” to serve in the Royal Navy. At first terrified and seasick, he is transformed gradually into a sailor. In the rowdy, dangerous world of a warship enduring the Napoleonic Wars, he meets both cruelty and kindness, and survives a fearsome battle whose echoes reach through the years to involve Molly as well. Like him, she has lost her childhood, but will find her future with help, from a much unexpected source. Separate yet together, Sam and Molly struggle through fear and excitement to a final ordeal, which terrifyingly tests their courage. And the moving climax of the book shows two lives joined forever, by the touch of Nelson, one of the greatest sailors of all time.
Very good book