An epic and imaginative historical novel, based on the true story of the wrecked Batavia – from the Costa Award-winner and twice BBC Radio 2 Book Club author
A SUNDAY TIMES BEST HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BBC TWO BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK
1628. Embarking on a journey in search of her father, a young girl called Mayken boards the Batavia, the most impressive sea vessel of the age. During the long voyage, this curious and resourceful child must find her place in the ship’s busy world, and she soon uncovers shadowy secrets above and below deck. As tensions spiral, the fate of the ship and all on board becomes increasingly uncertain.
1989. Gil, a boy mourning the death of his mother, is placed in the care of his irritable and reclusive grandfather. Their home is a shack on a tiny fishing island off the Australian coast, notable only for its reefs and wrecked boats. This is no place for a child struggling with a dark past and Gil’s actions soon get him noticed by the wrong people.
The Night Ship is an enthralling tale of human brutality, providence and friendship, and of two children, hundreds of years apart, whose fates are inextricably bound together.
“Lyrical, haunting, a beautiful and elegant fictional interpretation of history, I loved it”
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“Majestic … Kidd packs the story with superb characters, high emotion and drama … this gripping story ebbs and bobs with surprises from Kidd’s sparkling imagination”
“The ambition and execution of [Jess Kidd’s] new book The Night Ship is breathtaking! Sweet and grim, epic and domestic – I loved it … readers are in for a treat”
“[A] consistently gripping and impressively constructed novel … Kidd builds an immersive visual and olfactory world of the 17th century ship … since her first novel Himself [Kidd] has displayed a voracious talent for storytelling … [a] marvellous, spirited novel”
“Jess Kidd’s extraordinary evocation of a place gruesome with ghosts and the stranglehold of the past is nothing short of brilliant. I loved it”
Jess Kidd was brought up in London as part of a large family from County Mayo. She is the author of three acclaimed novels for adults, Himself, The Hoarder and Things in Jars, and a book for children, Everyday Magic. In 2017, Kidd won the Costa Short Story Award and in 2020 she was picked by The Times as one of the best emerging Irish writers.
@JessKiddHerself | jesskidd.com