In the second novel of Julia Older's Isles of Shoals Trilogy, Thom Taylor sails to the New World in the 17th century only to be washed onto the lawless Shoals at Hog Island off the Maine/New Hampshire coasts. Within days the bawdy islander Phillip Babb has the shipwrecked orphan indentured at a fishing stage and up to his knees in cod. The Babbs and their Barbadoes servant Pru are but a few of the true-to-life New Englanders who encounter the fictive narrator as he comes of age.
Thom gets involved in the plot to kidnap the first New Hampshire governor John Cutt, becomes entangled in forced Indian marches by Major Walderne, witnesses the trial of witch Goody Cole, gives chase to Captain Quelch and Captain Kidd, rubs shoulders with Judge Samuel Sewall, gets caught up in the hanging fervor of Boston big-wig Cotton Mather, and fends off marmalade madams at Strawbery Banke. This Desired Place is a deeply researched saga of pirates and Puritans struggling for wealth and power when adolescent America was growing into a nation.