Mon 2 Jun 2008
I, uh, didn’t know that Susan Cooper was still publishing books. Yeah, that Susan Cooper. But really — The Dark is Rising sequence is from when? So when I picked up a copy of this novel, I assumed it was from the early 1980s or something. An odd reference in the book made me turn to the copyright page and, yep, it was published in 2006. 2006! What other of her books had I been missing?!? Well, Wikipedia tells me that she’s published about eight novels aside from her famous sequence, and a dozen or so picture books for children. It also told me that she’s living in Massachusetts, and that she was married to Hume Cronyn, the actor, for about seven years (until his death).
Victory is a children’s novel, set in two times: early 1800s England and 2005(ish, current) America. The stories are told through alternating chapters; the 1800s story is narrated (in first person, past tense) by Sam Robbins, and the contemporary story is told (in third person, present tense) from the view of Molly Jennings. Sam Robbins has just left his farming family to go live in town with his uncle, when the both of them are pressed into naval service on the H. M. S. Victory. That ship eventually was the one on which Lord Nelson died during the battle of Trafalgar. Molly and her family have just moved from London to the U. S., and she hates it here. One day the family visits Mystic Seaport, and in a bookstore there, she finds a biography of Lord Nelson that she is somehow drawn to. She gets very caught up in the story of his life. (more…)