A good book requires enough intrigue and suspense to grab a reader's attention and hold .
it, stringing it along from chapter to chapter. Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is such a book. I found it to be both intriguing and suspenseful. .
The main character, Charlotte Doyle, is a thirteen-year-old girl who always had the best things in life. She was from America, but had lived most of her life in England. Her family had moved back to America, leaving Charlotte to follow after finishing her school year. Though she was set not originally set to travel alone, she did. .
There are many characters who make their presence known in this novel (Mr. Hollybrass, Mr. Keetch, and Fisk), but the major contenders are Captain Jaggery and Zachariah. Captain Jaggery is the suspected villain, ever since the beginning of the book. As the book progresses, so does the "punctilious" nature of Captain Jaggery. Zachariah is the lone black man on the ship who, from the beginning, tries to befriend Charlotte and warn her of the potential dangers aboard the ship. Even though most characters are not "deep," they all play some role in demonstrating such things as loyalty and betrayal. .
In the book, Charlotte not only embarks upon a physical journey but an emotional one as well. At the beginning, we are introduced to a young and proper lady (in the true sense of the word). A lady who had been trained in the finer arts of high society behavior. A lady who is very easily influenced by appearances and status. Her views of trust and distrust based upon the ideals given to her through an upbringing, eventually give way and sets a course of events in motion. A course she soon discovers that she desperately wants to change. The actions she proceeds to take are nothing short of heroic and courageous. The voyage matures her years beyond her young and tender age of thirteen. .
The book is written in first person - from Charlotte's point of view.