Literature / Beyond the Western Sea
A YA novel by Avi, published in 1996 in two volumes: The Escape from Home
and Lord Kirkle's Money
. A May 2012 reprint of Lord Kirkle's Money
is titled Into the Storm
County Cork, 1851. Soldiers representing Lord Kirkle arrive to tumble the village of Kilonny. Luckily for Patrick O'Connell, 12, and Maura O'Connell, 15, their father is living in America and has sent his wife and children tickets to join him. At the last minute, Mrs. O'Connell refuses to board the ship, forcing Maura and Patrick to continue without her. In London, Laurence Kirkle, 11, is beaten by his brother Albert for an offense he didn't commit. He takes a thousand pounds from his father, not knowing how much it is, and runs away to Liverpool. On Laurence's trail are Mr. Clemspool, a kidnapper hired by Albert to take him to America, and Mr. Pickler, a private detective hired by Lord Kirkle to bring him home. In Liverpool Patrick meets Laurence, and the boys form a plan to stow Laurence on the ship the O'Connells are taking to Boston.Beyond the Western Sea
is a homage to Victorian serials, particularly those of Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, and uses several tropes popular in that era.
This book provides examples of:
- Arc Words: "I knows nothing."
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Played straight with Albert, inverted with Laurence, and left ambiguous with Lord Kirkle, who's a bad landlord but cares about his son
- As the Good Book Says...: "Am I my brother's keeper?"
- The Artful Dodger: Rival grifters Fred and Toggs. The latter is named after the Dodger's sidekick Charley Bates.
- Bedsheet Ladder: Laurence uses a curtain to escape from his hotel room.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Book Ends
- The first and last lines both contain the phrase "the edge of possibilities."
- Laurence and Albert argue because Laurence refuses to black Albert's boots. Near the end, without either of them initially knowing, Laurence blacks Albert's boots.
- Britain Is Only London: Averted when the action moves to Liverpool. Plus Fred is from Yorkshire.
- Brother–Sister Team: Maura and Patrick as a Foil to Albert and Laurence.
- Calling the Old Man Out
- Catch-Phrase: Mr. Clemspool likes to repeat, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
- Cain and Abel: Albert and Laurence. Lampshaded repeatedly.
- Contrived Coincidence
- Cool Ship: It's a church.
- Cross-Referenced Titles
- Deliberate Values Dissonance
- Divided for Publication
- Ensemble Cast
- Expy: Laurence to Charlotte in The True Confessionsof Charlotte Doyle. Lampshaded when he hides on the remains of her ship.
- Eye Scream: Mr. Grout had a stake driven in his eye, ending his prizefighting career.
- The Fagin: Sergeant Rumpkin
- Failing a Taxi
- Happily Married: The Hamlyns, the O'Connells, the Browns, the Picklers and probably the Kirkles.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Bridy
- Last-Name Basis
- Like Father, Like Son: Lord Kirkle and Albert in terms of looks, Lord Kirkle and Laurence in terms in personality.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Ill Girl: Sarah Grafton
- Intergenerational Friendship: Nathaniel and Mr. O'Connell. Also see Older Sidekick below.
- In Which a Trope Is Described
- The Irish Question
- Little Stowaway: Laurence
- Meaningful Name
- Meaningful Rename
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond
- Odd Friendship
- Older Sidekick: Mr. Drabble to Maura and Patrick, Mr. Grout to Laurence
- Only One Name: Fred "No-name"
- Oop North
- Outliving One's Offspring
- Parental Abandonment: Annie O'Connell
- Parental Favoritism
- Pet the Dog: Lord Kirkle literally pets Laurence's jacket, Mr. Murdock looks at Bridy kindly after her family dies and Betsy Howard buries her face in her hands after the boardinghouse burns down.
- Platonic Life Partners: Maura and Mr. Drabble
- Produce Pelting
- Royal Brat: Albert
- Screw The Rules, I'm Doing What's Right
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Maura and Nathaniel, Mr. and Mrs. O'Connell, Mr. and Mrs. Pickler
- Shout-Out: Lady Kirkle is friends with Lady Glencora.
- Street Performer: Actor Mr. Drabble
- Third Line, Some Waiting: Lord Kirkle's Money
- Title Drop: Done once in each volume with Beyond the Western Sea and a few times in Lord Kirkle's Money.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The Escape From Home
- The Unfavorite: Both Laurence and Albert view themselves as this.
- Victorian London and Liverpool
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Maura's blue eyes are admired more than once.