Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Night Birds of Nantucket by Jona Aiken

2014, first published 1960 

Dido Twite has been shipwrecked but is picked up by a whaling boat.  She sleeps for ten months and  finds herself far away from her home in England whens she wakes, on her way to Nantucket. 

During her continued voyage and a brief stay on Nantucket she befriends the captain’s daughter, unravels a mystery and helps the captain consolidate his relationship with the pink whale. She eventually gets her passage home. 

Dido comes across as a feisty character. She prefers dressing as a boy – denim trousers and cotton shorts are more comfortable than frilly dresses.   She speaks not quite standard English but Joan Aiken does not overload us with dialect.  There is just enough to give her a personality. The words do not hide their meaning.  

The story is full of twists and turns. Some of the characters are larger than life. This novel is perhaps a forerunner of the Lemony Snicket novels except that this one does have a happy ending.
The book is just over 200 pages long.  It is formatted in blocked text and in an adult font.  There are a few line-drawings which illustrate the text.   

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