Back in America, little was known of my life in Jamaica, wrote Errol Flynn.
In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywoods most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society. After a long and storied career on the silver screen, Errol Flynn spent much of the last years of his life on a small island off of Jamaica, throwing parties and sleeping with increasingly younger teenaged girls. Based on those years, The Pirates Daughter is the story of Ida, a local girl who has an affair with Flynn that produces a daughter, May, who meets her father but once.
Spanning two generations of women whose destinies become inextricably linked with the matinee idols, this lively novel tells the provocative history of a vanished era, of uncommon kinships, compelling attachments, betrayal and atonement in a paradisal, tropical setting. As adept with Jamaican vernacular as she is at revealing the internal machinations of a fading and bloated matinee idol, Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves a saga of a mother and daughter finding their way in a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of independence.
the island that was errol flynns
The stories my mother told me werent the ones I wanted to hear, stories about the man she said was my father, stories that seemed to come not just from her but upon her, unguarded and effusive, or as we say in Jamaica, Mouth open, story fly out.
I loved stories about the pirates who used to rove among these islands. True Accounts of Sea Robbers, Treasure Island - these were the books I read over and over again until I knew whole passages by heart. And then at some point, with all those lofty phrases in my head, I began making up my own story. I called it Treasure Cove.
That was also the name Id given to a place here on the island, a cove where a coconut tree leaned out crookedly over the water. You could sit on the tree trunk and imagine it was a ship at anchor. A white bougainvillea grew on the slope above, and I used it as a landmark - She can see it all from the veranda - the cove and the white ...
Inspired by a few facts from Errol Flynn's life, and rooting her story firmly in Jamaican history, Cezair-Thompson vividly imagines the life of Ida, who is little more than a child herself when she gives birth to her daughter May, the illegitimate child of 1930/40s movie star Errol Flynn - known as a swashbuckling adventurer on screen, and for his glittering parties and affairs off screen. Most of the action takes place in Jamaica, but even when Ida leaves the island for some years the author stays true to the Jamaican experience because, for at least a century, one of Jamaica's primary exports has been its people.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1334 words).
A Short History of Jamaica
The island nation of Jamaica is in the Greater Antilles about 385 northeast of the Central American mainland, and about 90 miles south of Cuba. Within a century of Columbus sailing the ocean blue and the subsequent Spanish occupation of the island in 1494, the native Arawaks (who called the island Xaymaca) had effectively died out, due to smallpox and interbreeding with European and African settlers (the term Arawak is used to describe the Amerindians the ...
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