The Story of Land and Sea (Compact Disc)
September 2014 Indie Next List
“Simpson's debut novel is a quiet and radiant book. This story of love and loss is set during the later part of the American Revolutionary War and is told from the shifting viewpoints of a 10-year-old white girl, Tabitha; her family; their slave, Moll; and Moll's young son, Davy. While we can never know exactly what it felt like to be living on the North Carolina coast, on land and sea, at the end of the 18th century, Smith's graceful writing seems to capture the very essence of a different way of being in the world. This is an exceptionally written novel with characters whose hard lives are redeemed by moments of both beauty and mercy.”
— Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
Ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father's stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew. Since the loss of his wife, Helen, John has remained land-bound, but when Tab contracts yellow fever, he takes her aboard a sloop bound for Bermuda, hoping the salt air will heal her.
Years before, Helen herself was raised by a widowed father. Asa, the devout owner of a small plantation, gives his daughter a young slave named Moll for her tenth birthday. Helen gradually takes over the running of the plantation, but when she meets John, the pirate turned Continental soldier, she flouts convention by falling in love. Moll, meanwhile, is forced into marriage with a stranger. Her only solace is her son, Davy, whom she will protect with a passion that defies the bounds of slavery.