Monday, March 22, 2010

Spotlight Review: The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

My post today is for the Spotlight Series Tour which aims at featuring small publishers, their authors and their books, and the spotlight from March 14-27 is on Unbridled Books. For more information on the tours or the publisher click on the links or the button on the right sidebar.

The book I have read and am reviewing is

The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair - Thompson

I have to say it chose me because I had no choice - it was the only Unbridled book in the library and their books in the stores are hardcovers and thus too expensive. And, sadly, I have to confess that I have picked up this book in the past and rejected it! Errol Flynn - no thanks. Which goes to prove that my judgement in choosing books for myself is not very sound.


In 1946, Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler, Errol Flynn, arrived in Jamaica in a storm-ravaged boat. After a long and celebrated career on the silver screen, Flynn spent the last years of his life on a small island off the Jamaican coast, where he fell in love with the people, the paradisiacal setting, and the privacy, and brought a touch of Tinseltown glamour to the West Indian community.

Margaret Cezair-Thompson has taken these facts and used them as the inspiration for an imaginary story spanning the years from 1946 through to the mid 1970's.

Young Ida Joseph is captivated by the handsome, aging Flynn from the first time she meets him as a friend of her fathers , a fascination he is only too willing to take advantage of a few years later. Their brief affair leaves Ida with a daughter, May, whose father has no wish to know her and brings to an end her dreams of living her life with Flynn.
It's fortunate that there is a great deal more to this book than thirty years of Ida and May's lives because the the more the story progressed the less I liked them. In order to make enough money to support herself and her daughter Ida goes to America where she eventually marries a wealthy friend of Flynn's but she becomes so enamoured of her jetsetting lifestyle she leaves her little girl continuing to live in poverty stricken conditions. Later May will continually strive to be accepted into the wealthy foreigners lifestyle......the influence of Flynn , although absent physically, is always with them.

What made this book satisfying for me was Jamaica itself.........the history, geography and the people all brought vividly to life by the author. She uses the vernacular but not in such a way it becomes distracting or difficult to understand. These are the years leading up to the granting of independence in 1962 and I have to admit my knowledge was fairly basic beforehand so I found this very interesting , although sad to read of the disappointed hopes and escalating violence that followed.

Overall, I enjoyed it as a very entertaining and easy to read book. It left me wanting to read and learn more of this beautiful West Indian island.
The Author:

Margaret Cezair-Thompson was born in Jamaica, West Indies. She came to the United States at the age of nineteen to attend Barnard College, and then went on to earn a PhD in English from the City University of New York. She is the author of two novels and teaches literature and creative writing at Wellesley College.
Although she has lived outside Jamaica for some time, Margaret Cezair-Thompson retains strong ties to her native country. Like the main characters of her novels, she was a child when Jamaica became an independent nation in 1962, and she has witnessed the country’s changes, at times with deep concern and always with great interest.


  1. I actually had a look at this one at the library, nice to hear it is a good one

  2. I'm glad you liked this one! I originally chose this one to read for the Spotlight Series, but I figured I should read something else as you had already chosen it. I'll have to try and get this one later!

  3. This one does sound good!! I can see how I will not be interested in it initially, but your review tells me there is more to it than just meets the eye. Good review!