There are a lot of books that I think I’ve read but don’t remember or that seem to be a part of my generation’s collective childhood but not mine. I kind of remember starting The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, but I don’t remember ever finishing it. When it came time to make my Project Fill In The Gaps list, Charlotte Doyle came to mind because I had remembered the cover, it seems like everyone has read it and that on the surface I figured it was about the adventures of a girl on a ship, sort of like this other audiobook I reviewed.
Y’all, this shit is cray is all I’m gonna say. Actually, I do have more to say on the premise and plot of The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle. K, so Charlotte Doyle is a 13 year old girl who takes a ship voyage in 1832 from England where she attends school to America BY HERSELF with no chaperone or escort. Yeah, I know totes suspension of disbelief, because she is rich so one would expect a servant or something. Anyways, while on board, Charlotte is found guilty of MURDER, also no spoiler, it’s in all the official summaries and so the book deals with the whole situation and Charlotte’s ch-ch-changes. Oh yes! And mutiny!
I actually really liked the plot and character development in The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Obviously it’s not exactly realistic because I am pretty sure privileged rich girls did not travel alone on a ship full of mens and no women at the age of 13 in 1832. I’m also sure that no one in real life would ever believe she killed a grown man without the use of a gun or poison. So, when you read this book, just strap in and enjoy the adventure turn your brain OFF. Where this book shines is in how much change and growth Charlotte undergoes, not puberty. She’s quite prissy when we meet her, but then she becomes a hard working bad ass with moral fiber. BOOM. I love that noise, moral fiber and such.
However, if you are going to read Avi’s classic, do not do the audio. Seriously, this listening experience was the opposite of fun for me, I was expecting Katherine Kellgren calibre but was totally let down. The narrator, Alexandra O’Karma breathes pretty heavily. There are LONG pauses. Plus, the voice hardly feels appropriate to the story. The audio could definitely use a new narrator and a face lift, perhaps to appeal to a broader audience. The bright spot? It is only 6 hours and 27 minutes unabridged. OH and the version I listened to was produced by Recorded Books.
Disclosure: Purchased copy with my cashmoney on Audible! Make it rain dollars on books! WHOOO!
FYI, I totally read this as part of my own personal Fill In The Gaps reading project.
Other reviews of The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi:
Views From The Reader Side – “I really became enraptured”
The Blog Of Jess Haines – “This award-winning novel is made of so much WIN”
Reading Is My Super Power – “a fast-paced, Gothic-tinged action story”