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Sparrowhawk on the Horizon

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"If you choose not to fight, consider yourself beaten!"

It is the 1850’s. Britannia rules the waves and the Great Exhibition seems to flaunt the Empire's superiority to the world. Until news reaches Britain of a new invention: an American yacht rumoured to be faster than anything built in the Old World.

Two men, divided by an ocean, yet united by their desire for glory, are
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 9th 2017 by Ames Publishing
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Matt McAvoy
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The moment you begin reading “Sparrowhawk on the Horizon”, you know immediately it is an undeniable work of quality. Scholte is an articulate, educated and highly professional author, who evidently spent ten years researching and creating this book; her diligence shows.

Her informative semi-factual account of the birth of the Americas Cup is a homage to the time – a period of innovative ship-building, in the years following the Industrial Revolution – and provides a deep insight into this compet
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not a sailor but I love historical fiction. This book provides a well-researched and fascinating impression of Victorian England with its Great Exhibition and of New York while providing a riveting read about the first America's Cup race. The characters are so well-rounded that they lift off the page and the sense of place is so strong that one hears the cry of seagulls and the bustling noises of the streets of London and New York. A book that remains with you well after reading it. ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ir-reviews
Sparrowhawk on the Horizon is a rich, layered novel offering a left-of-center view of the founding of the America cup. Following the lives of two men close to, but not central to, the action, A. Scholte allows the story to work through a number of sub-plots, maintaining interest from even the least nautically inclined.

I was immediately connected to both narrators, though I did feel occasionally that Frank’s sub-plot overpowered John with a stronger sense of intrigue and immediacy. Either way, bo
Katherine Parsons
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sparrowhawk on the Horizon is a great example of historical fiction done well, and I feel I must applaud it on two points: firstly, the author clearly has a thorough (but subtly presented) knowledge of the period at hand; secondly, the plot is extremely enjoyable.

In the first instance, I find that it is often the case that books of historical fiction will either provide accurate representations of the period they intend to depict, or they will provide it stylishly. Scholte here has managed to de
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This story is a historical novel about Frank and John who are determined to see the race between the American vessel and a British rival in the London Exhibition. One is a reporter sent to cover the event and the other is a carpenter who uses the trip as a way to get away from his problems at home and also as a way to try something different and possibly exhilarating in his life. While the main characters are realistic, the style and voice of the writing is very drawn out and slow, making it har ...more
Susan  Alpert
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
SPARROWHAWK ON THE HORIZON is an ambitious seafaring novel that takes place during two major 1851 world events - the first America’s Cup and London’s Crystal Palace Exhibition. Two men separately seek to escape the trauma of the past by participating in the first competition of a new American schooner (which was actually christened “America”) against a fleet of established British yachts sailing around the Isle of Wight. The main characters are Frank, a British journalist who lost everything dea ...more
This historical novel is about two men (one a carpenter and one a reporter) who are on their way to the London Exhibition in 1851. Both of them have suffered work-related setbacks in the past and are looking for something more challenging in their lives.

One of them joins the trip across the Atlantic in his official capacity, partially as a way to get away from his problems at home and partially to try something new. The other is talked into covering the events in London by his boss, even though
Willow Moon Greymoor
Interesting historical novel!

Many plots are taking place within the pages of this novel! In 1851, the main characters John and Frank decided to try something new and boarded a yacht heading for “New America.” Both men embarked on a sea-born adventure without knowing the perils and triumphs that were in their destined futures.

Much of the story was poorly edited and disjointed with sentence structure and various storylines coexisting within one novel. However, this book is still quite entertainin
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History and fantasy collide

A wonderful example of the greatness of historical fiction, this novel discusses more than a historically significant and still relevant race but also the fantastical story of two men who cross paths by chance in the quest for the America's Cup and self discovery. Fuelled by different motivations, these two men, John and Frank, learn more than just about the might of the unforgettable ship The America and its creator, but about life, renewal, true triumph and besting t
Susan Briggs
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. When I picked it up I thought it might be over-filled with sailing terms and technical details. It wasn't - there's enough sailing and boat info to satisfy those who want it but there's also a very strong story. It's beautifully written and very engrossing, clearly well-researched as there are so many small details and bits of information that give depth to the characters and a sense of the period in which it takes place. I love to be absorbed by a great story, with o ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story, but needs work.

Scholte's novel is very intriguing, but it had many problems that made me unable to read the book in its entirety. It was poorly edited; the pace of the novel was too slow, and the various storylines were too disjointed to follow well. Scholte attempts to tell at least two different stories in the novel and does not combine them in a way that makes sense for the reader. One plot is about kidnapped children, the other is about a ship race.
However, Scholte's stori
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy adventure fun but slow

I liked the book but it was kind of long and drawn out but still enjoyable. With out giving up too much its essentially about a ship race between the US and England for the London exhibition. It's kind of a story about overcoming huge odds but it falls kind of short as far as being a gripping and fun read. The book does have its moments and a blend between some fact and fiction. Overall I didn't find it to be horrible it just was not my favorite. I hope this helps!
Mark Smith
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A. Scholte takes on a rather difficult task – writing historically accurate fiction. Most authors shy away from such a daunting genre, not Scholte. He welds a story using realistic characters rather than dramatic plot or storyline. The novel is difficult to read at times because Scholte uses too much description and not enough action. While this may hinder the reader’s enjoyment, the ending is worth the effort. Simply put, Scholte’s story will not excite or elicit emotion. It will give a rather ...more
Rupert Paget
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very clever combination of fact and fiction. The fact being the £100 Cup (later the 'America's Cup') of 1851, the fiction being the tale of 2 men who become involved, one from New York and one from London.
Life in squalid Victorian London and less squalid rural England depicted brilliantly and convincingly.
This is a character led story with a good plot, often difficult to find.
Would love to say more but don't want to spoil it.
Highly recommended. Looking forward to the next volume.
Kath Tsakalakis
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! I have no interest in sailing but I loved this dramatization of the first Americas Cup. I couldn't put the book down! It brought history to life through the personal stories of some wonderful characters and dramatization of the final race. ...more
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Jun 15, 2020
S.R.G. Kremer
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2018
Gloria Manning
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Dec 26, 2017
Tom Morris
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Mar 20, 2018
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May 30, 2018
William S. Lang
rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2018
David Baker
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Sep 26, 2018
Marijke Scholte
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wat een goed boek, voor mij was het alsof ik aanwezig was bij alle situaties beschreven in het boek.
De teksten stroomden als het water van de zee, mijn complimenten .
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written book about the first Americas Cup, set against the historical background of the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. From the first two chapters and with clever use of change in time & place, it draws you into the two main characters lives, the American carpenter John and the English journalist Frank. Whilst the historical events that took place and culminated in the sailing race around the Isle of Wight are brought to life, we also learn more about the personal stor ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just read the book and it has been well written with some great facts. It is an easy read and anyone who enjoys the history of the America's Cup should read it. Highly recommend it! Big Thumbs up! ...more
Jonathan Minnee
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Sep 03, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  (Review from the author)
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