Escape by Sea, by LS Lawrence

She had meant to let the tears come at last, now, but found they would not. And if they came at all, she thought, they would not be the sort of tears ladies were allowed, a careful covering of the eyes with the hands, a gentle sobbing. No, she could not manage that. If she gave way now, she would scream until her throat was raw.

From living the quiet, privileged life of a senator’s daughter in Carthage, Sara faces a wildly different life at sea. Carthage has been overthrown by the Romans and her only brother killed. As her father deals with his grief, Sara must organise their escape. With a hastily collected cargo, she and her father board their ship, heading out to sea to preserve their freedom and build a new life.

But life on the sea is also dangerous. Roman ships give chase, pirates threaten their lives and livelihoods, and Sara must learn to make decisions and to take on a vastly different role than that for which she was raised.

Escape by Sea is gripping historical fiction. Set in a time period and in a setting which will be unfamiliar to most young readers, it paints a vivid picture of the dangers of the oceans and the political tensions of the time. The use of a strong female character caused by circumstances to dwell outside of her normal realm, yet still conscious of the mores of her society, is thought-provoking.

Escape by Sea, by L.S. Lawrence
Omnibus, 2008