Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O’Brian’s bestselling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series.
Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty by his erratic voting as a Member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack’s exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack’s private fears for his career.
Fortunately, Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career, as well as Sophie’s forgiveness, when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar…
…Napoleon has escaped from Elba.
Download and start listening now!
"Captain Jack Aubrey navigates several challenges: supporting the rights of unlanded families in his district to a piece of uncultivated property; serving under an admiral who had an interest in cultivating that property, which predisposes him to write poor reports about Jack, thus killing Jack's chances of ever commanding a squadron; dealing with fallout from an old extra-marital affair. Sometimes you just can't get the better of turkeys like your commanding officer or your mother-in-law. You have to put up with the unjust consequences . . . and wait for Patrick O'Brian to kill both of them in the next book."
Jocelyn (5 out of 5 stars)