Sunfire Romance Novels
In the 80s, the world was lit by Sunfire!

Merrie Quick Notes

Sunfire #25 is Merrie by Vivian Schurfranz. This may be the Sunfire least focused on romance, save for perhaps Schurfranz’s most romantic moment.

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Merrie Front Cover (Credit: Joel Iskowitz)

Front Cover Blurb: She’s run away to become a part of history, and to fall in love.

Back Cover Blurb: It will take everything she has to survive the first year at Plymouth Colony.

Main Character: Merrie Courtland, curly blonde hair, brown eyes. She is 15 at the start of the book when she stows away on the Mayflower to escape an arranged marriage. Really, would a father who allows his daughter to be named Merrie really force her to marry a middle-aged merchant?

Also, let me address something here which is never officially called out in the book: Merrie’s apparent stutter. Seriously, this girl stammers too many times to count. Usually when saying “I,” which as a Schurfranz heroine she does A LOT.

[Okay, do I think Schurfranz really intended for her to have a stutter? No, I think it’s just her way of trying to convey hesitation in Merrie’s dialogue. However, as the family member of someone with a stutter, I don’t really appreciate the overdone effect.]

Suitor #1: Luke Bosworth, red hair, blue eyes, a member of the Mayflower’s crew. He finds Merrie hiding in one of the longboats and threatens her…before falling in love with her, of course. He points out that Merrie doesn’t really fit in with the Pilgrims and asks her to return to England with him.

Suitor #2: Zachariah Gaines (Zack), a Pilgrim with black curly hair and black eyes. He starts out as an assistant physician, but makes it apparent that his ultimate goal is to get rich as a trader. He’s respected by the colonists, but that status may degrade by consorting with “Stowaway Girl” Merrie.

Setting: The Mayflower and Plymouth Colony, 1620-1621

On the Cover: Center, Merrie wearing her red traveling dress, with her hair and cloak flying off in the window behind her. Right, Zack, looking Pilgrim-esque. (Pilgrimish?) Left, Luke, looking like he should be hanging out with Captain Jack Sparrow. Bottom right, Merrie embracing Luke, who is holding onto the rope to nowhere. Bottom left, the Mayflower.

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Merrie Back Cover

As I said, I really don’t find that this Sunfire is focused on romance. However, it does feature the most Frollo-ish of all Schrufranz’s Frollo characters: Oliver Loomis, a stern Pilgrim with yellow-gray eyes (what does that look like?) who hates Merrie’s guts.

Harlot! Jezebel! SINNER!!!

Harlot! Jezebel! SINNER!!!

But what IS his motivation, really? Here is a list of what Merrie does that makes her persona non grata to the Pilgrims:

  • She stows away.
  • She wears a red dress.
  • She shoots a turkey.
  • She sits idly when recovering from the “general sickness.”
  • She fishes for eels, standing bare-legged in the water with her skirt hiked up.
  • She makes friends with the Native Americans.
  • She dances while singing a sailor song on her birthday.

For this last offense, she is given the choice of being sent to the stocks or exiled from the colony for a week. Seriously. They allow a barely 16-year-old girl to be exiled in the wilderness for a week when she chooses that over humiliation (which is kind of stupid, but…teenage girl).

Luckily, this is a Schurfranz book, so of course Merrie survives and thrives. She single-handedly saves the colony when an Indian war starts brewing. She decides to leave for England, but once back aboard ship, she realizes she can’t leave and returns. Cue the romantic moment I mentioned. Merrie sees Zack watching the ship leave harbor, believing Merrie is still aboard, and witnesses his heartbreak at his foolishness in letting her go.

When Oliver Loomis realizes he hasn’t rid the colony of Merrie, he still tries to separate her from Zack in an effort to make her miserable (you KNOW there’s something else going on with this guy’s obsession with Merrie). Finally, the first Thanksgiving is celebrated in honor of Merrie, natch.

Oooh, I was going to get excited because I thought there was only one more Schurfranz, but I forgot about Reneé. Which is weird because I think Josie is a LOT more forgettable than Reneé,

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2 Responses to “Merrie Quick Notes”

  1. Just a comment in general. For those of us who cannot read the books, could you give a bigger plot summary (under a spoilers tab, for the people who don’t want to be spoiled) and who they end up with. THANK YOU


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