Sunday 25 October 2015

Carole's Sunday Review: Steering to freedom - Patrick Gabridge

Author: Patrick Gabridge
Title: Steering to Freedom
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 2015
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

A troubled country, a courageous heart, and the struggle for freedom. 

In May 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave and ship’s pilot in Charleston, South Carolina, crafts a daring plan to steal the steamship Planter and deliver it, along with, the crew and their families to the Union blockade. After risking his life to escape slavery, Robert faces an even more difficult challenge: convincing Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops. Based on a true story, Steering to Freedom tells the powerful and inspirational story of a young man who becomes the first black captain of a US military ship, while struggling to navigate a path to freedom for himself, his family, and his people. 

I was not aware that this was based off a true story while I was reading this. I guess I stink at reading summaries lately, because this is the third book that has thrown me a loop. Not a bad thing, but I'm getting lazy with the summaries, I just glance at it and start it.


This was good. It was a nice story and I had never heard of Robert Smalls before, but I have limited experience with the water battles with the American Civil War, most of my reading and knowledge relates to the land war, so it was a nice change to this genre. The author did an excellent job with not only bringing the world to life, but the characters to life as well. I felt so bad for Robert, but he was so brave. Kuddos to him for not only stealing a Confederate ship and freeing himself, his family, and others, but for enlisting as the first black captain of a US military ship as well.

There were a few dry spots, but the majority of the time I could barely put down my kindle. Its so hard to write this review, because there is so much I want to say, but I worry about spoilers. Of course I looked up the real story and the man was amazing. I am surprised I had never heard of him in the past.

The ending was good. Since I had no knowledge of the real story, it took me by surprise and I actually really liked it.

In the end, I really liked it. It was good. I recommend it for those that like historical fiction based on truth. I would love to see this turned into a movie or TV show. :D Out of five stars, I stamp this 4 stars. 


  1. Great post dear! Have a wonderful weekend:)

    1. Thanks! Since it is now the week, enjoy the week!

  2. LOL! I've missed a few cues in blurbs that left me startled when I started reading. I love Civil War History so this looks pretty good to me, Carole.

    1. Yeaaah, sometimes skim reading leads to surprises when I actually open the book.

  3. I didn't know about him either but the topic is really interesting!

  4. Saw your comment on Elysium @ Bookramblings' blog and wanted to stop by today.

    This sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

    Leaving a link to my Mailbox Monday post.

    ENJOY your reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  5. Interesting, especially because it's based on real life. I'd love to read it. Great review :)

  6. Ahh, it IS hard when you want to say a lot but can't. This looks interesting though.

  7. Great review Carole this time period fascinates me and like you I know very little about the water battles other than the key ones. I am adding this to my wishlist

    1. Thanks! This time period has always had a certain interest with me. :)

  8. I have never heard of this book or this event (and I am American - that is horrible!!). Thank you for bringing it to my attention!



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