The Wake of the Lorelei Lee

Written by L. A. Meyer
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

L. A. Meyer has penned another winner in The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, the eighth installment in the brilliantly entertaining, often madcap 19th-century nautical adventures of Jacky Faber.

Jacky, fresh off her escapades diving for Spanish gold, connects with old friends in the Boston area as she prepares to sail her ship, The Lorelei Lee, to England. There she expects to be exonerated of many crimes as she reunites with her beloved Jamie. Yet upon arrival, she is arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia. Bundled onto her own confiscated ship with other women destined to be breeders, Jacky makes the long voyage in what is essentially a merry floating brothel. Her only comfort comes from knowing that Jamie is making the same trip — albeit on a much harsher convict ship, a fact skillfully displayed through their many hopeful letters.

The long journey past India and into the South Seas gives Jacky plenty of opportunities for new exploits, including meeting a powerful female Chinese pirate. Taking advantage of this unusual connection, Jackie, through wile, skill, determination, and a little luck, arranges things so she and Jamie can be reunited. And here — in the face of the final consummation — Jacky truly matures. No longer the ship’s boy in disguise, she begins to do some serious thinking about what an unconventional young woman like herself really, really, wants out of life.

Juggling seven books worth of beloved characters and adding a full contingent more, L. A. Meyer continues to keep this wonderful series lively and fresh. Jacky Faber is a real prize of a character; this reader cannot wait to see what kind of woman she becomes.