Young Welshman Rees Kenyon leaves the family shipbuilding business to go to London and become a doctor. He realizes his ambition but loses his faith when his fiancée dies of cholera. To escape the memories, Rees sails for the colonies, straight into the jaws of the American Revolution. He brings with him a ragamuffin girl, Callie, rescued from the London streets. Rees and Callie fall in love with their new land, even as they begin to love each other and find their way back to God. The young Welsh doctor's shipbuilding skills prove as valuable as his medical expertise when he crafts THE SPIDER CATCHER (4), a small ship that terrorizes the British merchant marines. Gilbert Morris' habit of intruding with authorial comments detracts from the story, but compelling plot, complex characterization and superb historical detail earn him high marks. (May, 352 pp., $12.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson