Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

I enjoyed this very readable family saga set on the beautiful tropical island of Jamaica, a perfect summer read.
The appearance of some real-life characters along with the Jamaican setting for this family saga gave the story for me the feel of reality. Errol Flynn arrives on the island when his yacht is shipwrecked and he soon decides to make a home for himself on the island. He sees the paradise of Jamaica as a chance for him to make a fresh start. He befriends local Eli Joseph and this is how one of the two heroines of the novel gets to know him, as a family friend. Ida Joseph is the first protagonist, the young daughter of Eli who grows up admiring this captivating older man. She sets her heart on marrying him once she is old enough as she does not see him as the ladies man that the rest of the world regards this daring Hollywood star as. She thinks her dream has become reality when Errol eventually seduces her and she has his child, the second protagonist, May Joseph Flynn.
Predictably Errol does not hang around to marry Ida and May only ever meets her famous father once.
They live their lives without him although you feel his presence is always around them both, May because growing up on the island everyone is aware of who her famous absent father is and do not let her forget. Ida does not want to forget him and ends up marrying his friend, living on his island, surrounded by his things and her memories. Her entire life seems to be spent trying to protect May from the consequences of being the daughter of such a man.
The story of Ida and May spans thirty years and it was interesting to learn something of the changes going on in Jamaican history during that period. Sometimes the ending of sagas such as this one can be somewhat of a let down but this was certainly not with some unexpected revelations.

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