September 2008 Indie Next List
“Combine 1946 Jamaica, the notorious Errol Flynn, and a beautiful local girl, and the stage is set. Now add politics, culture struggles, dreams realized and dreams shattered and you have a thoroughly engrossing novel drenched with the rich scent of the tropics.”
— Gee Gee Rosell, Buxton Village Books, Buxton, NC
WINNER OF THE ESSENCE LITERARY AWARD IN FICTION
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.
About 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.
Her first novel, "The True History of Paradise ("to be reprinted by Random House 2009), was short-listed for the Dublin International I.M.P.A.C. award. Her second novel, "The Pirate s Daughter," won the Essence Literary Award for Fiction in 2008. Other publications include short fiction, essays, and articles in "Callaloo, The Washington Post, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Graham House Review," and "Elle" magazine. Her screenplay, "Photo Finish," about a Jamaican-American athlete, was sold to Oprah Winfrey s Harpo Productions.
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."
Praise for The Pirate's Daughter:
“A book-club-ready saga with two gorgeous women at its center [and] a knockout ending that reveals treasure buried beneath the sand-encrusted secrets.”
–People (Critic’s Choice)
“[A] delicious premise . . . sets Margaret Cezair-Thompson’s The Pirate’s Daughter in motion, and from there, the novel never stops for breath once.”
–O: The Oprah Magazine
“Enthralling . . . ideal for readers looking to be swept away.”
–The Christian Science Monitor
“[A] ripe romantic novel . . . with page-turning panache . . . a mélange of family saga, love story, and political-historical fiction served up in a tropical setting.”
–The Boston Globe
“The Pirate’s Daughter captures perfectly the essence of Jamaica. . . . Your efforts will be rewarded with rich escape.”
–The Dallas Morning News
“A surprising yarn that is rich, salty and ultimately satisfying . . . The Pirate’s Daughter sparkles with characters real and imagined.”
–The Washington Post
“An unabashedly frangipani-scented–and wholly satisfying–armchair holiday of a read.”