The Captain's Wife: A Novel

Front Cover
Dutton, 2001 - Fiction - 293 pages
46 Reviews
This epic historical novel follows the true story of a remarkable heroine, Mary Patten, who found herself in one of the most dangerous straits of sea in the Western Hemisphere, Cape Horn, with a ship of mutinous sailors to command and a deathly sick husband, their captain, to care for.

Mary's story begins in July 1856 in the heyday of the great clipper ships. Her husband, Captain Joshua Patten, is hired to navigate Neptune's Car on a treacherous voyage from New York to San Francisco -- in record time.

The trip is marked by dark signs early on. The first mate shows traces of treason that soon erupt into a plot of mutiny. Upon reaching the equator, the captain falls ill. With no other choice, Mary takes command of the ship. Her command reigns throughout not only the most treacherous passage, Cape Horn, but during the most devastating weather in years. Having learned to navigate on a previous voyage with her husband, she now must utilize all her skills as she demands respect from an unstable crew, nurses her husband day and night, keeps the mutinous first mate at bay, and finds as she becomes a captain, she will also become a mother.

Doug Kelley has crafted a brilliant novel that uses the little-known facts about Mary Patten's life to tell a gripping tale of deception, danger, and treachery on the high seas. In a world of discovery, when adventurous sea captains ruled the seas, Mary Patten became much more than a captain's wife.

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Being that this was my Great, great, grandaunt. I wish you would look for the article by Harold Waters, named, Angel of the High Seas. It is absolutely fascinating. I could only wish to be as lofty as my predecessors. I have not yet had the chance to read the book, but hope to soon.
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Review: The Captain's Wife

User Review  - Laraine - Goodreads

I read this book on a cruise ship while going around Cape Horn and found the book most interesting. I cannot imagine how horrific the journey around the Horn was back in the days of sailing ships ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Douglas Kelley now makes his home just across the Oklahoma state line. The Captain's Wife is his first novel.

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