Victory, written by Susan Cooper, is both a time/place travel and a historical fiction title. The story takes place, alternately, during the time just before the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) and in both the United States and England during 2006. The stories of both Sam, an eleven year old boy pressed into the English Navy, and Molly, an English girl who has moved with her mother and step-family to the United States, are linked by a mystery concerning an old book and an artifact. The artifact is a scrap of the flag that covered the coffin of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson who died a hero's death at the Battle of Trafalgar on his flagship, HMS Victory.
Both children must, in their own times, go through unwanted life changes and challenges. There is a connection made when Molly purchases a book from an old book store at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. She begins to hear, see, and dream things that she can not explain. She "sees"a tall masted ship on the horizon - nobody else can see. Molly seems to hear a "voice" in her head, telling her to keep the scrap of fabric she finds in the book about Admiral Nelson secret.
The move to the United States has been difficult for Molly. She has left all she knows in England. Her step-father and step-brother are Americans, and her step-father has been transferred back to the U.S. by his job. As Molly melts down from homesickness, and from whatever is haunting her, she and her mother take her new baby brother to England to visit her grandparents.
In Sam's story he has been "pressed" into service in the Royal Navy. He goes through many trials as he becomes a seaman - from developing his sea legs to being punished cruelly with a block of metal placed in his mouth for days - preventing him to eat, drink, or talk - after speaking up to a cruel midshipman who has tripped him as Sam carried eggs for the Captain. But the most difficult is the Battle of Trafalgar.
It is this famous sea battle - Trafalgar - that becomes the crises point for Molly and Sam. But more than this connects them, or causes their connection through time. This mystery, when solved, brings a peace to each of them.
Susan Cooper continues to be a favorite author. This book, Victory, enthralls the reader as the books of her "Dark is Rising" series did some years ago. I highly recommend Victory, even to those readers who are not yet aware of the history of the Battle of Trafalgar