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The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret…

The Pirate's Daughter (2007)

by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

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What if......?

I listened to the abridged audio-book version of this novel and, judging by other people's comments about the book being too long and dragging, that was probably a good choice. I really enjoyed my version and was quickly immersed in the relationship between sixteen-year-old Ida and the charismatic Errol Flynn. (I had to Google him, just to see if he was as good looking as everyone made out.) I also benefited from having the Jamaican dialect read to me correctly, which was much more seamless than trying to read it colloquially.

This is one of those books where a real life character is involved, living on an Island where he landed after his boat was washed ashore in 1946. However, he did not meet a coloured Jamaican girl named Ida and they did not have a daughter (May). Sort of like a 'what-if' tale. But it was a good basis for a story about glamour, aspirations for something better and the fall-out. It also covered an interesting period of Jamaica's history.

Ida is the daughter of a mixed marriage and her father, Eli, becomes indispensable to Errol when he arrives on the island. He tells her about this character from Hollywood and she can't wait to meet him. Errol is in trouble back home, for dallying with under-age girls, so he is in no hurry to return. It is not hard to imagine that Ida might have caught his eye.

Their daughter May, however, only meets her father once, and she is raised partly by Ida and partly by foster parents while Ida works away from home. This book is her retelling of her life story - daughter of the swashbuckling pirate, Errol Flynn. ( )
  DubaiReader | Jul 7, 2015 |
I loved this book. It was beautfully written, the description of the scenery was eloquent. You could close your eyes and imagine you were there. The portrayal of the characters was wonderful and so intriguing. This is not the usual type of book I'd read, but it was recommended to me and I'm glad it was. ( )
  IceMaiden786 | May 31, 2014 |
This was a $3 buy at Big Lots :) Coupled with the easy price, this is a really easy to read book about colonial & post colonial Jamaica, with it's rich cultural history, & a great cast of characters spanning a couple of generations. The main characters, Ida & her daughter May's, lives are centered around the period of time that Errol Flynn was blown ashore on Jamaica when his ship was wrecked in a hurricane. He becomes May's father, although he never once acknowledges her.

I found it to be fascinating, sad, & happy in different places, & the dialect that some of the dialogue is written in just makes the reading experience that much richer.

I was not fond of the ending, but that's ok :) ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
Birthday gift from my Mom-In-Law!
  capriciousreader | Dec 20, 2013 |
The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson is like Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, except that it's set in Jamaica and the movie start du jour is Errol Flynn. Whilst Elizabeth Taylor didn't leave much behind on her trip to Big Stone Gap, Cezair-Thompson asks the question: What if Flynn fathered a child while on the island?

In 1942, Flynn did in fact land in Jamaica, his ship damaged from a storm. He did fall in love with the island and did start to build a house there. The remains of the house are still there. For the novel, though, the original landing is pushed forward to 1946 and Flynn's initial stay is much longer to give the first act of the novel time to play out.

Flynn's predatory nature and the effect it has on Ida and later her daughter, May, is drowned out by too many voices. Cezair-Thompson jumps around in points of view, not sticking with Ida or later, May. Either a strict first person telling (from Ida and later May) or a more removed, omniscient narrator would have succeeded in telling a less muddled story.

With all the padding I never felt like I got to know Ida or her piece of Jamaica. By the time she had vanished, leaving her daughter in the care of relatives, I didn't care enough about May to continue reading. Included in my links are more positive reviews if you want a second or third opinion. I though, cannot recommend this book. ( )
  pussreboots | Jul 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812979427, Paperback)


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.

Based on those years, The Pirate’s Daughter imagines an affair between the aging matinee star and Ida, a beautiful local girl. Flynn’s affections are unpredictable but that doesn’t stop Ida from dreaming of a life with him, especially after the birth of their daughter, May.

Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves stories of mothers and daughters, fathers and lovers, country and kin, into this compelling, dual-generational coming-of-age tale of two women struggling to find their way in a nation wrestling with its own independence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:17 -0400)

Spanning 30 years of Jamaican history, 'The Pirate's Daughter' is a tale of passion and recklessness, of two generations of women and their battles for love and survival, and of a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of hard-won independence.

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