I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan by Cynthia Jefferies alongside my tour buddy, Amy at Passages to the Past. The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan was published in paperback on 22nd August 2019 and is also available in hardcover and as an e-book.
Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Allison and Busby for my review copy. I hope you enjoy reading my review of The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan. Look out for more reviews by the fabulous book bloggers also hosting stops on the tour.
About the Book
1660, England. War is at an end, yet for Christopher Morgan his personal conflict rages on. Haunted by the tragic death of his wife, Christopher is desperate to escape the pain her memory brings, although looking into the eyes of his young son, Abel, he cannot help but be reminded of what he has lost. Over time, father and son develop a strong bond until they are callously torn apart when Abel is snatched by smugglers and sold overseas.
From the shores of Constantinople to the coast of Jamaica, time and tide keep them apart. Christopher will sail across oceans to find Abel, never losing faith that one day they will be reunited, and, as the years pass, Abel will learn that fortune favours the brave.
Format: Paperback (384 pp.) Publisher: Allison & Busby
Published: 22nd August 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction
Find The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan on Goodreads
Alternating between events from the point of view of Christopher and his son, Abel (the latter told in first person), The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan involves epic globetrotting adventures. The story is like a spirited mashup of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Moonfleet and Pirates of the Caribbean. Along the way, there’s an encounter with a mysterious and malevolent stranger, a trader in information who, although playing a role in both Abel’s and Christopher’s lives, doesn’t feature in quite the significant way I expected.
It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Christopher, in despair at the death of his wife and the unexplained disappearance of his beloved son whom he fears may be either dead or enslaved. His feelings of guilt at the course of events cause him to indulge in a lot of soul searching as he travels the world in the hope of finding his son. Christopher even finds it difficult to recognize his own good nature when performing charitable deeds towards others.
Despite initial indications to the contrary, Abel does become the recipient of ‘outrageous’ good fortune, partly down to luck and partly down to several bold moves on his part as well as a willingness to grasp opportunities. Towards the end of the book, when it appears he has everything he should want from life, some of the actions he takes seem quite out of character and he became somewhat harder to like.
The story takes the reader from the moorland village of Dario in the West Country – the location of the splendidly named Rumfustian Inn and the haunt of smugglers – to the court of Charles II, to the maze-like streets and minarets of Constantinople, to Ireland and the Caribbean island of Jamaica. At times, I felt the pace of the book as a whole didn’t quite match the intensity of some of the action-packed scenes depicted, such as those involving Abel’s privateering adventures in the Caribbean.
Featuring smugglers, pirates, narrow escapes from death, joy, despair and every emotion in between, The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan is a spirited, globetrotting historical adventure.
In three words: Lively, entertaining, adventure
Try something similar: The Traitor of Treasure Island by John Drake (read my review here)
About the Author
Cynthia Jefferies is a long-established writer for children, whose work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She was born in Gloucestershire and her love of history was encouraged by regular family outings to anything of interest, from great cathedrals to small museums. Having moved to Scotland and back to Stroud, she has always made time to write and her abiding interest in Restoration England has never left her. The Outrageous Fortune of Abel Morgan is her first historical novel for adults.