Great Reads

The Unbinding of Mary Reade – ARC Review







Publish Date 
: 6/19/18
Author: Miriam McNamara
Started: 3/30/18
Finished: 3/31/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Summary from Goodreads:

A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack—and fell in love with Anne Bonny.

There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.

At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate.

The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.

For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.

Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar. 
My review:

I LOVE anything pirates. When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Mary Reade and Anne Bonny? I dreamed about this stuff as a kid. I read other reviews before reading it and I know I shouldn’t have now. So many bad reviews were given and I don’t think they’re really accurate.

If you’re looking for pirate adventure, no you won’t get it. But if you’re interested in pirate life you’ll get some of that. The book was more about the secret life that Mary lived as a man both before and during her pirate days. If you are okay with reading about this aspect, then the book is rather good! I was actually interested the entire time. The double life that Mary lived was fascinating.

I’m not against books with homosexual themes, or bisexual I should say. I just do not read much as my preferred genres are thrillers or historical fiction but I’ve been reading a lot of everything recently. I believe a lot of the nature argument of homosexuality. I’m not really sure anyone chooses to be gay or not. However, Mary falling in love with a girl seems a lot to do with nurture in this case. Mary’s forced lifestyle as “Mark” led her down a path of a solely masculine lifestyle. She lived that life whether her choice or not and falling for Beth at 15 and then Anne at 17 seems as if it was because the life she lived. This portion was interesting to me. Her wanting for Nat as a child and at her older age though makes her a bisexual and it’s as if the nurture argument is favored here in this particular case.

Although lacking pirate adventure as noted, the pirate lifestyle still interested me and I really enjoyed the book. One thing that I found fault with was the writing style at one point. Most of the book was written well and the pirate / old English island vernacular was used. I came to a line over halfway in that said “they were cool with each other”. Ok, had I been reading a YA novel set in modern times, I wouldn’t have looked twice but this line was a little out of character to the book that I didn’t like it. I know it was just one simple line but it felt so out of place like the author forgot what she was writing for a second. That was my only issue though which obviously isn’t a huge deal. It’s also an ARC copy so maybe that particular line is gone. I’ll see when the finalized copy is out come June!

I really wish people would look at the book for what it is more than wishing it was something else. I enjoyed it. If you want a pirate adventure, read something else but this still has the backbones of a really great book and incorporates pirates which was interesting enough for me. I’m a tough critic and somehow again, I am going against popular opinion. I enjoyed the read!

2 thoughts on “The Unbinding of Mary Reade – ARC Review”

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