The Pirate's Daughter: a gorgeous book, a publishing adventure

When a friend at Unbridled Books graciously flipped me an advance copy of Margaret Cezair-Thompson's forthcoming novel The Pirate's Daughter, it quickly migrated to the top of my gotta read stack. This is one of those luxurious, bottle-of-wine, house-to-myself, let-it-all-go-to-voicemail books that completely kidnapped me for a day.

The story:
In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940’s 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 Pirate’s 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 idol’s, 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.

PW says, "[Cezair-Thompson] succeeds magnificently in evoking a world distant in both time and place." Booksellers are loving the heck out of it, and I have a feeling book clubs are going to be all over it as well. The Pirate's Daughter is the #1 Booksense Pick for October, and news of a major paperback deal was just announced. It's always thrilling to see a really worthy book come busting out like this for an author who so deserves to be recognized. Born in Jamaica, Margaret Cezair-Thompson is the author of The True History of Paradise (which I will now make a point of reading) and teaches literature and creative writing at Wellesley.

Look for The Pirate's Daughter in bookstores later this month or order now on Amazon.