Robert Lomas's Reviews > A High Wind in Jamaica

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
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's review
Dec 18, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle-stuff
Read in October, 2011

I first heard about this classic book on BBC Radio 4's 'A Good Read' and thought it sounded interesting. I downloaded a taster onto my Kindle but didn't get a chance to look at it. Then I forgot I had the sample until recently when, on a long train journey, I finished the book I was reading. I skimmed through the Kindle list and found the forgotten sample. The opening chapters gripped me immediately.

Richard Hughes brings to life a disturbingly vivid vision of Victorian Jamaica as he takes his reader into the middle of an odd family of children who live on a run down sugar plantation. By the time I'd finished the sample I was hooked and wanted to know what happened to Emily and her brother John. I clicked the "buy this book button" and downloaded the whole novel on a train speeding through Grantham towards London.

The story is told mostly from ten year old Emily's viewpoint so the action unfolds as she understands it. Their unaccompanied voyage back to England is rudely interrupted when the ship they are traveling on is seized by pirates To Emily it is a fine adventure but an adult reader notices many unsettling insights into a brutal world. The twists and turns of the tale are unpredictable and the ending an unexpected shock. All in all a gripping read which I couldn't put down until I reached the final page. And then I was left wondering just what happened to Emily after the novel ended.
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