Synopses & Reviews
Bottle and Glass is a story of survival and escape told from the barstools of two dozen boisterous Kingston taverns at the close of the War of 1812. The novel follows the fortunes of Jeremy Castor and his cousin, Merit Davey, two young men snatched from the Cornish coast by the Royal Navy in the summer of 1813. A year later, they arrive in Kingston, in Upper Canada, a town tense with the fear and deprivation of war. Paid, pent, and thirsty, their first riotous night ashore is spent at a tavern, the novel's namesake, Violin, Bottle, and Glass. On this Saturday night it seems like the entire town is crammed into the two-story clapboard roadhouse. It is thick with spicy bodies, sour tobacco, sweet liquor, and traces of sea-salt. Each reveler has their own private need. The bos'n's mate looks to drink something other than lime-leavened rum and he thinks of home. The young seamstress hopes to meet a midshipman and she thinks of away. The bored need a distraction. The bottled, a release. Jeremy and Merit meet sixteen-year-old Amelia Barrett, newly and unhappily married to Colonel Noble Spafford, a Peninsular War veteran many decades her senior. When, later that evening, Jeremy stumbles upon a dead man linked to the Colonel, the lives of these three people seeking freedom become bound together forever.