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I, Walter by Mike Hartner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Description: Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England. In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself? Especially given his family background?
My thoughts: The book I, Walter begins as Walter is reminiscing on his life. He is writing his memoir, trying to relate the truth of his life as he remembers it. He has moments that he is not proud of, and wants to have everything out in the open. He has malaria, fearing that his life is near it's end he wants to clear his conscience.
This book is fascinating in the scope and adventures that are portrayed. It begins in England. Walter runs away from home as a young teen and is taken into the English Navy in the 1500's. His adventures and quick intellect make an interesting story. He falls in love on the high seas and ends up in Spain. His adventures have him come face to face with Kings and pirates. Throughout everything and the trials he endures, he remains a man of integrity and honor.
This book is a great addition to the historical fiction genre. There is some swearing, innuendo, and violence.
Read an Excerpt:
In my earliest days, I remember my father, Geoff, being a bit forceful with other people. I also recall my brother Gerald, nearly five years my senior, and myself being happy. Or at least as contented as two boys could be who were growing up in the late 1500s in England, and working every day since their seventh birthdays. It was a time when boys were earning coin as soon as they could lift or carry things. The money could never be for themselves, however, but for the parents to help pay the bills.
Father lived as a crofter should. He was an upright man and sold vegetables off a cart like his grandfather did, and he also dabbled in selling fine fabric for the ladies of status.
One afternoon, when I was eight years old, my brother came home and got into a heated debate with my father about something. When I ran to see what was the matter, they hushed around me, so I never got the full gist of the argument. But whatever it was about, it was serious, and the bickering continued behind my back for five straight days. When I awoke on the morning of the sixth day, Gerald was no longer at home. And he never came back.
Soon afterwards, my father lost enthusiasm for his business and became generally passive. I assumed this was because of Gerald's leaving, and only on occasion would I see flashes of my dad's former self.
At the start of my tenth year, our family moved closer to London. We rented the bottom floor of a three-story building in which several families lived in the upper floors. My father said we relocated because he needed to be closer to more business opportunities. But my mom didn't believe he'd made the right decision, since he was now selling food out of a cart and not inside a storefront. One night, she greeted him at the door when he came home. She was wearing a frown and a dress that had seen better days.
"Did you bring in any decent money?" she asked him before he had time to take off his coat.
"I told you, it will take some time. It's not easy to make good money these days."
"Especially when you let the ladies walk all over you."
"I know, I know. But what am I to do when they aren't running up to me to buy what I'm selling?"
"You at least bring home some food for us?" My father had carried in a bag under his arm.
"It's not much, a few carrots and some celery." He handed her the bag.
"What about meat?"
"We're not ready for meat yet."
"That’s true enough," my mother said. "But you should at least try to feed your family. Walter's growing, and so are our other children."
"Leave me be, woman. I'm doing the best I can for now." He sat in his chair, leaned his head against the wall, and fell asleep.
That same debate played out between my parents for the next two years. Except for the summer months, when food was plentiful; then the arguments subsided. But for the rest of the year, especially during the winter, the same discussions about money continued on a daily basis, and they were often quite heated. I lost two younger siblings during those two years. One during my tenth winter and the other during my eleventh winter. Neither of the children was older than six months. I always suspected hunger as the primary cause of their deaths.
See the trailer:
His love of all things genealogical led him to writing, and writing has now led him to fiction and a large epic saga.
He lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and son.
His latest book is the historical romance, I, Walter.
Visit his website at www.accidentalauthor.ca.
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