Excerpt from Stowaway by Karen Hesse, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Stowaway

by Karen Hesse

Stowaway
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 302 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

The storm, at last, is blown out and Endeavour
floats easy in the sea again. The servant boy, John Charlton, comes past when he can, leaving bits to eat. He also brings with him good cheer with that kind face of his and that beaming smile. I don't know much about him but that he is from London, has a friendly nature, and at fifteen years of age has spent his last three years at sea. He says my red hair reminds him of his mother. He knows his way about, John Charlton does, and he knows the men who brought me aboard. They can be trusted, he said. They're good men.
The men at night sing songs of Spain, and John Charlton says soon we are passing there. He brought me the latitude and longitude readings so I might enter them in my journal and has promised to do so whenever he can. I asked John what I should do about coming out.
"Stay hidden," he said. "If you are discovered now," he said, "Captain may yet put you off on land and see you returned to England."

FRIDAY 2nd [Between Cape Finisterre and Cape Ortegal]
Spain! I cannot see it from my hiding place, but I heard the cry. The Gentlemen brought their casting nets out and fetched in such creatures I can only imagine. Great were their exclamations of wonder. Their excitement makes my hiding so much more difficult to bear. That and the dampness of it all.

SATURDAY 3rd [Off the Coast of Spain]
Saw little of the Gentlemen on deck today. At times they are careless and leave a morsel, spiced meat or cheese. Mr. Parkinson, one of the artists Mr. Banks brought aboard to draw the plants and animals we shall see on this voyage, is particularly forgetful with his food. He is a young man with a woman's hands. I am always interested to hear his observations. He speaks in a clear, light voice unlike any other on board.
I have seen much in my imagination, listening to Mr. Parkinson's reflections.

SUNDAY 4th [Off the Coast of Spain]
As the sun was setting, the Gentlemen spied an endless field of little crabs feeding upon the surface of the sea. They cast their net and brought in a dripping lot of the little scuttlers. On deck the crabs glistened in the last rays of sunlight, clicking and slipping over one another. The Gentlemen exclaimed excitedly, and Mr. Banks could not gather the creatures fast enough.

MONDAY 5th [Off Cape Finisterre]
Mr. Banks received a bird from one of the sailors this morning. It had been tangled in the rigging. The bird died in Mr. Banks's hands. He had one of his servants rush it to Mr. Parkinson to be drawn. I like all animals, but birds are my favourites. The year after Mother died, when I lived with Grandmother, I would climb trees and watch the birds in their nests. I learned to imitate their calls, so that they would come almost to my hand.

Mr. Banks has two greyhound dogs aboard. They sniff at my hiding place in the shelter of the Pinnace. Ordinarily the sight of them would gladden me, but I fear the bad turn they could do me now if they should give me away. But with the pens of livestock around me, no one questions their excitement. Must be the pigs making them act so, Mr. Banks says.
TUESDAY 6th [Off the Coast of Spain]
Spain retreats and the Gentlemen gather species from the sea with a wonderful worship. They exclaim at their finds, calling them sparkling jewels. Could these creatures possibly be as rich as my mind imagines? Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Buchan, the other artist aboard, must be very busy men, to draw all the creatures Mr. Banks discovers. He says no sailor has ever troubled before to make such a record. Now his discoveries are forever recorded in Mr. Parkinson's and Mr. Buchan's pictures. I listen and imagine what everything looks like.

WEDNESDAY 7th [Lat. 40°29' N, Long. 10°11' W]
Captain and crew sailed with a spirit of happy speed. Mr. Banks looked out to sea a good part of the day. His posture suggested he was prepared to walk directly upon the water. I think he would ask Captain please to slow down so he might not miss a single fish swimming in his path. But John Charlton says Captain would not listen to such a request. Endeavour

Copyright © 2000 by Karen Hesse

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.