The New World—Andrew Motion

It was the simplest picture, which I had seen every morning for months on end, and never thought would serve as the beginning of our farewell. But that is what it became: the gentlest of separatinos, with the women kneeling as they swept their wet hair from their eyes, and the water-drops sliding from elbows and fingers, and the river crinkled by the breeze, and the vast and level country stretching beyond, and the rust-red sky, and the thin straight line of charcoal along the horizon. (144)

In this sequel to Silver (which is itself a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island), we pick up right where we left off, with Jim and Natty shipwrecked after a huge storm destroyed their ship and killed all of their shipmates. Turns out they washed ashore on the coast of Texas; the year, 1802. After being picked up and held captive by Indians, certain that they are going to be eaten, they escape, stealing the chief Black Cloud's treasured silver necklace in the process. While fleeing they find an Indian community that keeps them safe and becomes their family, most especially their friend Hoopoe, who speaks English. Content to remain with this tribe, it is only when Black Cloud starts chasing them again, pursuing his necklace, that they must leave the people they have come to know and love, and restart their journey back to England.

The EarlyReviewers description didn't indicate that this was a sequel to Silver—rather than a direct sequel of Treasure Island—which felt a bit like false advertising. But I ended up reading Silver, and am glad that I did so, because I'm sure that this story makes a lot more sense as a result. As I mentioned in my review of Silver, that book is clearly meant to be an adventure akin to its predecessor Treasure Island, but fell short of the mark for me. The New World felt like much more of an adventure story. I do think there were still slow moments, and that there could be some trimming done, but overall I enjoyed taking the journey through "the new world" with Jim and Natty. Altogether more well-rounded storytelling than in Silver, in my opinion.

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