Audrey's Reviews > The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Middle school girls who know nothing whatsoever of history will undoubtedly find this book utterly enthralling. I won't deny that the story is paced well and the prose is well constructed. The problem is, it has no internal integrity. Books with talking animals and intergalactic travel require less suspension of disbelief. Charlotte makes a completely implausible personality shift. An etiquette-obsessed, "well-bred," snobbish, wealthy Victorian girl, in a fit of remorse, suddenly rejects her social status and joins a ship's crew. We are supposed to swallow this, despite the fact that, at the beginning of the book, she completely believes in the values of her society (that she is superior to the crew, that any type of physical labor is beneath her, etc.). That kind of value shift would take several months, maybe years, not the short time alloted in the book. To think otherwise is to overlook the personality of the character in question and the deeply ingrained nature of social mores. Add to this the fact that Avi makes feeble attempts at duplicating the language of the time period, and I just couldn't handle the book. On the strength of Avi's ability as a writer, I gave it two stars instead of one. However, this book's complete failure to tell a story that is in keeping with the heroine's personality makes it, in my opinion, an unworthwhile read.
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