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The Pirate's Daughter: 02/13/13
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.