the true confessions of charlotte doyle | review

I’m not sure how many times I have listened to this audiobook in the past ten years but it is one of my favorite stories from eighth grade.  I just listened to it again this week and it’s about time I reviewed it!!


I first encountered this book when I was in eighth grade.  I liked it so much, I did one of my book report projects on it.  For some reason, tales about the high seas intrigued me and I went through this lady pirate phase.  Don’t ask.  This book doesn’t even contain pirates.  I just wanted to read about girls on ships and those books were out there – but the girls in the books I got my hands on were pirates!

I have since gotten over the whole pirate thing but I’ve still kept this piece of junior fiction on my list of favorite stories.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Doyle is a sweet thirteen-year-old girl traveling from Liverpool, England to her family in America.  It’s quite a simple arrangement really.  Two other families are supposed to travel on the same voyage, thus keeping her protected and occupied.  However, when she boards the ship, the other passengers are nowhere to be seen and she realizes she must make the trip as the only passenger besides captain and crew.

Something’s not right.

Word has it that the captain is not what he seems.  But Charlotte finds him the very sole of propriety, class, and dignity – everything she has been brought up to expect and respect in a gentleman.  He’s the one man who understands her, can protect her, and provide her with the kind of respectable companionship on this long, lonely voyage.  But some of the crew have made it clear that they do not trust or like him.

So what is she supposed to do when everything is turned upside down and she’s caught in the middle of the power struggle?

And what is supposed to do when she’s accused of murder, tried and found guilty?

I have a thing for mysteries, I must say.  And for ship stories.  Ten years later and it still does the job.

This book counts towards the following challenges:




a countess below stairs review

714569I’m counting this toward the Audiobook Challenge even though it’s a total cheat because I’ve listened to this book at least one-hundred times, including a happy run-through this year.  This review is a bit of a cheat as well since it’s just an abridged version of the review I did on Tumblr in 2010.

Whatever, I’m going for it anyhow!

I discovered this book years ago on accident at the library (isn’t that how so many of our favorites are discovered?).  The audiobook was read by Davina Porter, one of my favorite narrators.  Her performance of this book is beautiful!

Eva Ibbotson tells the story of a Russian countess who must keep her identity hidden after her family loses everything during the Russian Revolution. Finding herself practically penniless in England, she manages to secure a job as a housemaid for an Englishman’s estate.  Utterly out of her realm, Anna, armed with a copy of Selina Strickland’s The Domestic Servant’s Compendium, is, nevertheless, determined to work hard for her boss, the new Earl of Westerholme, who is just returning home from fighting in the Great War. With her zest for life, her willingness to please, her selfless heart, and genuine interest in the lives of others, Anna Grazinsky soon captures the hearts of the inhabitants of Mersham, including that of Lord Westerholme himself who is in the midst of preparing for his marriage to the golden-haired, blue-eyed goddess, Muriel Hardwick.

I looooove this story!  If you’re looking for a romantic comedy, this is it!  It’s completely fast-paced, witty, honest, dignified, vivid and charming.  Ibbotson spun a tale of honor, duty, and loyalty, as well as pure, unadulterated love and I definitely put it up there in my top 5 favorite YA novels.

All the girls had bobbed curtsies as he passed, but Rupert was about to encounter for the first time this weapon of social intercourse in Anna Grazinsky’s hands. One arm flew gracefully outward and up like an ascending dove, her right foot, elegantly flexed, drew a wide arc on the rich carpet-and she sank slowly, deeply and utterly to the ground…here was homage made flesh; here, between the bust of an obese Roman emperor and a small, potted palm, Rupert, Seventh Earl of Westerholme, was being offered commitment, servitude, another human being’s all. 

Reading the hard copy is great but if you can, get the audiobook read by Davina Porter.  It’s a delightful listen!

Y’all stay blessed :)