A Wild and True Relation by Kim Sherwood - review by Anna Van Dyk

Anna Van Dyk

Batten Down the Hatches

A Wild and True Relation


Virago 528pp £18.99

Swashbuckling rogues in fiction are not typically associated with women, but Kim Sherwood goes some way to rectifying the balance in her gripping adventure novel A Wild and True Relation. It follows the story of orphaned Molly – or rather, Orlando, as she must come to call herself aboard the ship of Captain Tom West, who takes her in following the murder of her mother. In her quest to avenge her mother’s death, Molly grows up to be a hero more admirable than all the men in her company.

Between chapters, Sherwood interleaves anecdotes about writers such as Daniel Defoe, George Eliot and Robert Louis Stevenson, who supposedly became captivated by the legend of Molly West years later. The result is that Molly’s tale shifts out of fantasy and towards something resembling truth: you’ll find yourself Googling her

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

Follow Literary Review on Twitter