Janice Sebring’s debut novel is in the finest tradition of historical fiction. Her memorable characters face challenges to which even modern readers can relate. The backdrop of 17th century Cuba and the Caribbean, the clash of the Spanish, French, and British forces in the region, and the daily lives of the local people are meticulously researched, allowing the reader to lose himself in the pleasure of a different time and place, the real reward of a great historical novel. Fearful Breakers is also infused by a profound moral sensibility about slavery without imposing a presentist gloss on the issue; slavery remains a test of humanity rather than of virtue signaling in this novel. –PW
Will José be drawn into the dangerous life of a smuggler? Or settle down to a quiet life in his father’s shop in Havana?
In 1760 Cuba, José Albañez, a free boy of color, resents his charming but unprincipled uncle Domingo’s pressure to join him to sea on one of his smuggling ventures. He would rather continue his studies at the Jesuit school and then follow his father into the joiner’s trade.
Instead, he finds himself struggling to master seamanship, lodging with a Jewish trading family on Jamaica in the aftermath of a slave revolt, and confronting kidnappers on Saint-Domingue. The arrival of a British fleet off of Cuba in 1761 forces him to decide where his future lies.
“Filled with intriguing Cuban history and helmed by an engaging hero…” – Kirkus Reviews