The History of a Word 02/07/20
The Somerset Tsunami
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Set in deepest Somerset during the 17th century, Fortune Sharpe is not your average girl. Strong-witted and determined, she sets about making a boat with her brother Gem. It might seem like something fun to do, but Fortune has to leave her home in a hurry when she is spotted rowing the boat on the Sabbath.
Fortune is sent off to find work disguised as a boy, but luckily, she doesn’t have to look far before she discovers that Barrow Hill, the local manor house, has an opportunity for her. Yet Fortune slowly realises that this manor house holds many secrets within its walls. When the other children of the house discover she’s not who they thought she was, suspicions are raised. And with King James’ witchfinders roaming the west country, will Fortune – a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time – escape unscathed?
This is another glorious example of historical fiction from Emma Carroll: a feisty, female-led adventure that is based on real-life events. It creates a curiosity for history – for the 17th century, the witch trials and the real history of Somerset (the floods of 1607, now considered to have been a tsunami by some), while encouraging girls to be resilient and have faith in themselves.