Gouge follows Ahab’s Bride with this sequel. Hannah Ahab wants to escape her dead husband’s notoriety, and travels to Boston to visit friends before embarking on a tour of Europe. She instructs six-year-old Timothy that their last name is now Jacobs. But abolitionist acquaintances draw her into their circle, leaving her torn between wanting to right the wrongs of slavery and the possibility of putting her son in danger if she is caught breaking the law. She also becomes torn between two suitors, one a dashing slave-owning naval captain, whom Timothy adores, and the other an old friend who is a secret abolitionist.
Readers needn’t have read Moby Dick in order to enjoy this book. Christian fiction fans will appreciate Hannah’s moral struggles in having to choose between two sides, each of which has disadvantages. The climactic “battle” between the two suitors is rather low-key: they have a log-rolling contest! The author provides a list of questions to guide book discussion groups. I saw one minor error: three dictionaries disagree with the author’s assertion that “galley” is a sailor’s term for a dining room.