Book review: Hook’s Daughter

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Author: Heidi Schulz
Published: Chicken House, 2015
Pages: 274
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical, Retelling
Read more about it on Add it on Goodreads
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Jocelyn Hook is, you guessed it: Captain James Hook’s daughter. The most fierce pirate to ever sail the seas. However, Jocelyn has never met her father and her mother died when she was born; Jocelyn lives with her grandfather, hoping that one day her father will arrive to take her on a big adventure. Jocelyn does indeed get to go on an adventure, it just doesn’t go quite as planned… But, hey, who cares, as long as she gets away from that awful finishing school.

This was a delightful little gem of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It starts with Jocelyn being shipped off to a finishing school for young ladies by her grandfather because she is considered unruly. I am all for people having good manners – I do not like bad manners – what I am against is people forcing ridiculous societal pressures on girls to be what is considered a proper young lady. Absolutely not! And essentially, this is what finishing schools are – do they still exist, in the manner in which they did in previous centuries? I hope not – a way for outrageous stereotypes to be enforced on girls and what is expected of females. Girls were expected to wear their pretty dresses and hope to be married off to – preferably- a wealthy male suitor. No mention of career prospects and anything beyond marriage and children. I shall end my rant on this here and just say that I don’t blame Jocelyn for wanting to escape this and it was wonderful to see a young female character rebel against this and get to be the pirate instead of the princess for once.

The book has a narrator whom isn’t Jocelyn which oddly I had to get a little used to, and remember that it was someone else telling the story. The narrator was hilarious! There was much chuckling going on while reading this book. I still have no idea whom the narrator is though.

“Nothing lasts for ever. Just ask any of my ex-wives.”

Jocelyn and Rogers’ friendship was sweet and touching and illustrates that we could all do with a true friend to help us through this troublesome world. The rest of the characters each had their own personalities and were fun to read about. Prince Merriweather was funny and proves that everyone needs a fairy – where is my fairy companion? I’m feeling very deprived, right now. If you’re expecting to read a lot about Peter Pan, then you will be disappointed in that respect as he doesn’t feature very heavily in the book, but I didn’t mind at all.

Being a book for a younger age, it of course features humour and adventure but lurking just beneath all that, there is the message of believing in and staying true to yourself. Just as C.S. Lewis said:

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

A story filled with adventure, humour and something to relate to, no matter your age, this was a truly fun read.

Hands up if you’ve read this. Who else chuckled? Anyone want to be a pirate now? I don’t think it’s for me, but each to their own 😉 

 

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