Christina Dudley's Reviews > Beat to Quarters

Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester
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Feb 03, 2012

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Read from February 05 to 08, 2012

Oh, dear. My first Hornblower book that didn't rate four stars! I'm reading the series in chronological order of Hornblower's life, not publication order, and I'm afraid this book was ruined for me by Lady Barbara. So tough to go from the poignant conclusion of Hornblower and the Atropos, when he puts a hand to his infant son's forehead and diagnoses smallpox, to this book, where Hornblower doesn't spare his lost children, nor his wife a thought (except to remember she's short and dumpy), while he whips up a lovely passion for stupid Lady Barbara. Maybe it's the mom-of-three-kids in me, but, Dude--if your wife put on a little weight bearing your children, you could cut her some slack and not go horning around the Horn with your high-class hobag.

But I digress.

OTHER than my objections to the romance, I enjoyed the book, as usual. It did, as the first written, have more of the tiresome here's-where-we-are-in-time typical of historical fiction, as well as explanations of sailing and naval matters which were blessedly absent from later (written) books, but the adventures are top-rate Forester.
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