In 1729, Resolute and her siblings are torn from their British parents’ Jamaican plantation by Saracen pirates. Only ten, she doesn’t see how her older sister, Patience, protects her innocence. Resolute, “Patey,” and their brother, August, are separated and reunite multiple times, their futures determined by their fates on this forced voyage. As a child, she is feisty yet occasionally naïve; as an adult, she is resourceful and devoted to her loved ones.
Resolute’s perspective matures over time, and she learns from both others’ cruelty and kind treatment. Among the best advice comes from a barmy Scottish widow who helps her when she’s left alone in Lexington, Massachusetts: “You must ha’e a boon… a means to go on if all comes to fail. A woman is a fool that lives from penny to farthing and n’er looks to the possibility of loss.” As Resolute settles into her new American identity, she discovers how to ensure her own livelihood – and teaches others the same.
Although fictional, Resolute represents the diverse women whose strength was woven into the fabric of early America. Full of adventure, romance, and unexpected surprises, her account remains captivating throughout its nearly 600 pages. What a fabulous story; what an inspiring life!
My Name Is Resolute was published by Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press in February ($27.99 / $31.99 in Canada, hardcover, 593pp). This review first appeared in May's Historical Novels Review as an Editors' Choice title.