It is the year 1610, and the great explorer Henry Hudson is undertaking a difficult journey to find a way to East Asia by going up and over the Arctic Circle. He is determined to find this passage and receive the accolades he has been longing for all his life.
Told from four points of view, QUEST, recounts the story of this ill-fated journey. Johnny Hudson, Henry Hudson's son, is young and dashing, anxious to go exploring and ready to pull a few jokes on his fellow crewmates. His girlfriend, Isabella Digges, is ready for adventure of her own. As Johnny sails from London, Isabella packs her bags to travel to the Netherlands where she will be spying on England's greatest competitor, the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. Johnny's brother, Richard, is left at home, convinced that adventure and excitement will not be his. And Seth Syms, in trouble with the law, has gained a passage on Henry Hudson's boat, hoping for the peace and quiet of a long sea voyage.
But even the best laid plans can go awry. So when Henry Hudson becomes so obsessed with his quest that he ignores the building ice around them, he puts into motion factors that will change all four characters' lives!
QUEST explores how the fates of good people, all obsessed with an objective, can change as fast as ice can freeze. I hope you will like this new book, for in the end, aren't we all on a quest of our own?
★ Boston Author's Club Highly Recommended Book
★ Cybils Nominee
★ Missouri State Teacher's Reading Circle Program Book
★ Maine Student Book Award nominee 2009-2010
★ Best Book for 2008 by PALS
★ Jefferson Cup Recommended Reading
“Told in four alternating voices, each one represented by a unique typeface, this is the story of Henry Hudson's final, fatal attempt to find the Northwest Passage. It relates the man's obsession with his quest, his crew's growing dissatisfaction and eventual mutiny, and the rivalry among European countries during the age of exploration. The first voice, that of Hudson's 17-year-old son, John, a sailor on his father's ship, DISCOVERY, is full of excitement over the long sea voyage. Eight-year-old Richard, left at home in London with his mother, tells poignantly of missing his father and brother. Isabella Digges, secretly in love with John despite her father's disapproval of a mere sailor as suitor for his daughter, keeps a journal while the DISCOVERY is away. In addition to her thoughts of John, Isabella recounts her own adventure in the Netherlands, where she has been sent to spy on the Dutch East India Trading Company on behalf of England while posing as a nursemaid/companion to the 14-year-old daughter of a prominent Dutch investor. Finally, Seth Syms, fleeing the enraged jealous husband of his ladylove by posing as his cousin Nicholas for the voyage, tells his tale in a series of letters to his mother. The author's skillful juxtaposition of these four narratives creates an absorbing work of historical fiction that manages to incorporate the viewpoints of explorers, investors, sailors, governments, family members and neighbors of those who played a part in this fascinating era.”