The Pirate's Daughter
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The Pirate's Daughter

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,554 ratings  ·  237 reviews
"Back in America, little was known of my life in Jamaica," wrote Errol Flynn.

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 ye...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Unbridled Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Amy Galaviz
*Note: Spoilers included -- This book was quite a page turner (atleast the first 3/4s). Having frequently visited Jamaica myself, I was impressed with how Cezair-Thompson captured the native dialect, landscape, and political instability that came with Jamaica's independence from Great Britain in the 60s. Also, she does well describing the prejudice often experienced by white Jamaicans, or even people of lighter skin - this actually turns out to be one of the central components of May's struggle...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
In 1946 Errol Flynn's boat was shipwrecked in Jamaica on its way to Haiti; he fell in love with the country and bought a small uninhabited island off the coast of Port Antonio called Navy Island, continuing his rascally ways, hosting wild parties where he drove Truman Capote into the swimming pool, and Marilyn Munro danced ... and a young local girl called Ida, infatuated with the handsome movie star, becomes his lover at 16 and gives birth to a baby girl, May.

This is the story of Ida and May an...more
Sep 21, 2008 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: BOOK CLUBS!!!!
Recommended to Julie by: Book Group Expo
Sometimes when I'm on the subway, there will be an ad for a Caribbean island, and I just want to dive in (Remember the girl on the beach in Barton Fink?) That was this book. Every night I picked up the book and dove into the picture.
Lush, vibrant prose. I was utterly transported! No stock characters, honest, real, grabs you in and holds you through the whole story. Swashbuckling pirates, beautiful women, Obeah women.....Cezair-Thompson is a brilliant novelist.
Claire (Just Another Bookworm) Denman
I read this book as it was featured a few years ago on "Richard and Judy's Book Club", and I was not dissappointed by it.

The story is separated into different parts, three is in 3rd person narrative and two in 1st person narrative in the forms of letters. The parts written as letters I enjoyed the most as they just focused on the thoughts and feelings of just May and Ida.

The two main characters are Ida and May. Ida is a teenager when the story begins, she is a real daddy's girl and is desperate...more
This book was up and down to me. It was a nice read but sometimes I was missing something. It needed more and less. Does that make sense? There were times when I wanted more information and then there were things that could have been left out and served no purpose. I loved the whole entwining Errol Flynn and Jamaica. How many stories are set in Jamaica? AND the best part was the Bob Marley was not mentioned until page 300. It was a shock! I thought for sure it would have been mentioned in the ti...more
This was an entertaining read - for me, more like a summer book, nothing too heady, just fun. I loved getting a sense of the dialect and some of the political strife faced by the islanders in the 60's.
i love pirates so this was an easy book for me to pick up and read. this however, is not about pirates. lol. it is about the lives of a mother and daughter as they go thru their lifes journey on finding love, work, food, and this is the time that the civil war is breaking out in Jamaica but they love their land and homes more than anything. they are Jamaicans to all means. i wasnt crazy about the ending of the book. the book was so well thought out and written but it seemed to end abruptly. i wo...more
For 14 year old Ida Joseph growing up in Jamaica in the 1940's, Errol Flynn brings the glamour and glitz of Hollywood to the small town where she lives. She can see Navy Island (which is about a mile from the coast) from her house and she loves the stories associated with it of Captain Bligh and Pirates and buried Treasure and of a ghost that walks the island, Sabine.

Her father becomes friends with Flynn and Ida meets his several times over the course of the next few years and, when she is 16, t...more
Bree T
Ida is just a young girl in 1946 when Hollywood swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn ends up in Jamaica after a storm sends his boat off course. Her father, a taxi driver, ends up driving Flynn around and then moves into real estate, helping Flynn purchase a Jamaica home when he falls in love with the island. Flynn is in and out of Ida’s life for years and they fall into a relationship when she is still just a teenager and in school.

Ida has dreams of marrying Flynn (who is already married but separat...more
I liked this book quite a bit, both for the fiction and for the history of Errol Flynn and Jamaica. Admittedly, the best parts of the book were the non-fictionalized parts, but the fiction was well-written also.
What is true is that Erroll Flynn, on his way to Haiti, was blown off course by a hurricane and landed by mistake in Jamaica. He fell in love with the land and bought a small island right off the coast of Jamaica and lived there for many years. It is also true that the 1960's brought not...more
Michelle L
Through her narrator, the pirate's daughter of the title, the author writes the words 'grammar' and 'glamour' are related - signifying among other things enchantment and the casting of spells.
This is an enchanting human story, in a special little place,in a time of wealth and subsistence, glamour and naivete, and historic change, all seen and felt through the very varied and sympathetic central characters. They struggle with the question of responsibility to themselves and others - something...more
Dora Okeyo
The Pirate's Daughter, felt more like a story about Ida than it was for May. Ida (May's Mother) gives birth to her when she is barely eighteen and the father, Errol, has no love for anything but himself and he never cares for her-and this leaves Ida working hard to care for her daughter May, and her Father Eli, who's just had a stroke!
In reading the story, May almost has the same life as her Mom, she goes through the same things as her Mom, and you can't help but see how alike they are-only diff...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, the characters were well developed and it taught me something about a place I know very little about. Most of the book takes place in Jamaica, specifically Port Antonio and Navy Island. It starts about 1946 and continues until the 1970's. It's about a teenage girl, Ida, who falls in love with a movie star, Errol Flynn. It's also about the child of that love, May. Parts of the story were very sad and things that happened were not always ideal and s...more
Very enjoyable novelization about Jamaica and Errol Flynn's misadventures there. I normally don't read this type of novel (I guess it could be classified as a romance novel), but I have always liked Errol Flynn's movies and when I heard this novel was about him, I decided to join this bookring. Even though there are definite elements of a romance novel in this, I thought it was much more - delving into Flynn's declining years, his time in Jamaica (Navy Island), his womanizing and drinking which...more
Some books seem to be slow starters for me. This was one of them but I grew to really enjoy the heroine, May, Errol Flynn's bastard daughter so much. Flynn plays a minor role in her life.

The story begins when Errol Flynn, the movie actor, encounters a storm at sea. He and his schooner, Zaca, limp into Jamaica where he meets Eli and Ida Joseph. From that moment, young Ida idolizes the actor and fancies herself in love with him. Flynn falls in love with Jamaica and returns often and eventually sed...more
Ida Joseph is young when Errol Flynn arrives in Jamaica. She quickly becomes besotted with him and then he notices her too.
Set over a number of years, The Pirate's Daughter tells of Ida's romance with Flynn and its consequences, one of these being their daughter May.
May meets Errol just once but he makes an impact and is as much an influence in her life as he was in Ida's.
This is a story of two women and an actor who,courtesy of Margaret Cezair-Thompson is brought back to life.

As a fan of Erro...more
Jan 16, 2008 Jane rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jane by: Odyssey Books Booklovers Program
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When movie star Errol Flynn is shipwrecked on the island of Jamaica, no one could have known what kind of impact he would have. The Pirate’s Daughter, written by Margaret Cezair-Thompson, is an engrossing story about a family of Jamaican natives through its generations and throughout the island’s fight for independence.
When Eli becomes friends with the infamous actor Errol Flynn, Eli’s daughter, Ida, gets to know him and soon falls in love. Errol is not immune to her girlish charm and before l...more
Jan 22, 2008 Tisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I love the concept and the form of this book: A fictional speculation (Errol Flynn's illegitimate bi-racial daughter) on a factual situation (Errol Flynn's exploits in Jamaica). Perfect for an Xmas gift card purchase, and right up my alley.

Margaret Cezair-Thompson does well with the big-picture landscape of Jamaica, both political and social, particularly around race, class, self-determination and colonialism, but for my taste as a reader, her rendering of character doesn't develop too far beyon...more
Melinda Seyler
Mar 12, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melinda by:
The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
This book creates the feeling of the Caribbean from the beginning. Although sometimes the Jamaican dialect is a bit hard to decipher, the descriptions of the people and places all ring true and draw you into the feeling of the place and times. This is the fictional tale of a family: Oni, the Maroon grandmother who lives in the mountains of Jamaica, her daughter Esme, who is half Chinese and husband Joseph, who is Middle Eastern, their daughter Ida...more
Margaret Cezair-Thompson gives us a mini-lesson in Jamaican upheaval, both political and personal.

The fictional premise of The Pirate's Daughter is that, when Errol Flynn ends up in Jamaica, he loves it so much that he buys property there and spends a significant portion of his final years there. This much is actually true. He had a home in Port Antonio and owned a hotel; he was a big reason that tourism flourished around that time.

Cezair-Thompson then expands the premise to include Flynn's ha...more
Pirates have for decades had a sort of pantomime feel to them especially in literature. Thanks to the likes of Long John Silver, Captain Pugwash, parrots and pieces of eight. But in reality they never lost their fearsome bloodlust, they just started wearing t-shirts and cut-off jeans , dumped cutlasses for Uzi’s and AK 47’s and made the coast of Somalia a no go area, thanks to the reach of 24/7 news. While on the silver screen, the swashbuckler’s of old had lost their appeal until Disney and Cap...more
Sarah Sammis
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 th...more

I enjoyed this very readable family saga set on the beautiful tropical island of Jamaica, a perfect summer read.
The appearance of some real-life characters along with the Jamaican setting for this family saga gave the story for me the feel of reality. Errol Flynn arrives on the island when his yacht is shipwrecked and he soon decides to make a home for himself on the island. He sees the paradise of Jamaica as a chance for him to make a fresh start. He befr...more
At first this book seemed to be interesting and in some places it was, but then it got repetitious. The story rambled on and on. There were 13 CD's to listen to and by the end I was glad I was done. The story began in the late 1940's and was set in Jamaica. Errol Flynn came to the island, met a woman named Ida when she was only 13 I think. After a few years he had an affair with Ida (I think she was only 14 or 15 at the time) and she became pregnant with his child. He never married her, but kept...more
Kerry Hennigan
The Pirate's Daughter" is the story of May Flynn, illegitimate daughter of Errol Flynn and Jamaican beauty Ida Joseph. A mere teenager when she first meets the charismatic Flynn, who has sailed to the islands aboard his beloved yacht Zaca, Ida is repeatedly drawn to him, despite his reputation as a lady's man, and the fact that he is married.

But Margaret Cezair-Thompson's evocative novel is also about Jamaica, culturally and politically. May grows to womanhood during a turbulent era of violence...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Set in Jamaica we follow Ida who will never forget her first love notorious womaniser Errol Flynn. When he eventually seduces her she mistakening thinks he loves her but sadly she is left carrying his unwanted child.

The pirate is Hollywood film star Errol Flynn and the pirates daughter is May, a fictional character. However Flynn in real life did buy an island in Jamaica and I think this is confusing to the reader. You are left wondering what is fact and what is fiction and should you just read...more
This book has an interesting premise. The author uses the real life fact of actor Errol Flynn living in Jamaica in the 1950s and creates a book based on what might have happened during that time. The main character, Ida, meets Flynn while a child and ends up having a brief affair with him as a teenager. Ida becomes pregnant by him and the rest of the book chronicles the life of Ida and her child in the setting of Jamaica and the later civil unrest there. Although the plot is intriguing, I almost...more
The title sounds fun, like the book could be full of swashbuckling adventure of a girl trying to follow her father's footsteps and find out more about who he really was... The tile is misleading, (at least about the fun part.)

The first part of the book was a bit hard to go through, so I did what I hardly ever do and skipped to the middle where I was quite easily able to pick up the story again and understand what was going on. This made me realize that I had just saved myself a bunch of time fro...more
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Margaret Cezair-Thompson is the author of a widely acclaimed previous novel, The True History of Paradise. Other publications include short fiction, essays, and articles in Callaloo, The Washington Post, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Graham House Review, and Elle. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, she teaches literature and creative writing at Wellesley College."
More about Margaret Cezair-Thompson...
The True History of Paradise

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“This is a story that could only have taken place in the tropics, where the climate draws sea rovers, pirates, and desperadoes from all corners of the world. They come and go, these adventurers, bedazzled and dazzling, and they leave women behind, lovers, who repeat outlandish tales, murmuring to themselves unheard, and if heard, not believed ...” 3 likes
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