Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Troubled Waters is the fourteenth in a series of novels about a British naval officer named Alan Lewrie, who is, among other things, a Revolutionary War veteran. The series is authored by Dewey Lambdin who is well grounded in all aspects of British naval history, but whose knowledge is especially deep during the "iron men and wooden ships" era of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Troubled Waters is set in 1800. Lewrie is in his late thirities and his naval career has advanced with much more success than his private life. He is beset by legal troubles brought on by his freeing of a ship load of slaves in the West Indies; his marriage is troubled; an old nemisis from his youth is on his trail, spreading all-too-true tales of Lewrie's sexual adventures among the "Red Indians" of the Georgia Coast. With thirteen novels in back of this one, Troubled Waters is not the one to start off with, but it is a good place to learn about such things as the British legal system of the time, slavery and slave laws of Great Britain at the time, the Napoleonic Wars through the eyes of the British sailors, and a British Navy that is recovering from the two worst mutinies of it's history, and finally, a view of homosexual behavior in the Royal Navy by the powers that be -- no "Don't ask; don't tell" in the nineteenth century British Navy.
Alan Lewrie is a flawed man, a complicated man, and a good man to spend time with. Troubled Waters is a rewarding experience.