The Skipper of the Cynthia B.
Charles Pendexter Durell
Springfield MA: Milton Bradley

This is adolescent fiction, in a Cape Cod setting, circa 1910.

Samuel Hotchkiss is beginning the most boring summer of his life, because the doctor has ordered his overworked and out-of-shape father to recuperate at a quiet shore. Sam and his parents are staying with relatives, retired sea captain Seth Nickerson and his wife Cynthia. Uncle Seth rather quickly shows Sam the joys of the rural seashore and light hands-on work. Sam learns to sail and fish, etc. with Uncle Seth, and reconnects with his parents.
The filler is several short yarns of whaling and ship-wreck told by Uncle Seth and other old deep-water sailors.

This is the sort of book that Joe Lincoln might have written, had he written juvenile fiction: The Cape Codders have interesting accents and use boat-loads of nautical expressions; The outsiders come to appreciate the people and place. I wouldn't recommend it to an adult, but I would to a kid 10-15 years old.

David Kew
Feb 2002

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