In the vein of Jackie French's historical fiction, 'Lady Dance' and 'How The Finnegans Saved The Ship', here is a thought-provoking and controversial story that examines religious persecution and refugees. A timely book that includes teaching notes.
'You only saw the ship at sunset, and then only on the best of days, the sun-drenched days, when light faded into black and left the water oily with the remnants of the sun.'
'The White Ship' contains two parallel stories that eventually come together.
One is the story of a sea captain at the time of the Saint Bartholomew's massacre (when Catherine de Medici had all the Protestants murdered) who fills his ship with islanders and vows to keep sailing until he finds a world that is free from religious persecution.
The second story is about a girl who lives on an island off the coast of Australia and sees the ship on the horizon each sunset, at that moment when the sea turns dark and the sky is red. The white ship has been sailing for four hundred years, but is tugged off its endless course when a boy on board hears the island girl's cries for help.
Teaching notes at the end of the book look at religious persecution, and victims of various religious persecutions who have sought refuge in Australia.