Book One of Jonathan Dickinson Odyssey
A Violent Segment of History of Jamaica
I had read about the uprisings of the slaves and burning the plantations before, but this book goes into it in much more depth. Although the character Jonathan Dickinson actually lived and on reading his history on Wikipedia, this story includes many more characters, only using the Dickinson family as the core around which to build this historical, fiction, thriller. To set the scenes, the authors used several modern day individuals who were discussing what they knew of their family histories in the 1600’s in Jamaica and how through the centuries, these families had become related through marriage and children. Then the story flashbacks to the 1600’s as each of today’s people relate the past history of their families.
This story is well written, the characters are well developed, along with the sights of the scenery, and beauty of Jamaica. Then the reader is introduced to the violence of Port Royal, Jamaica when it was a hellhole of pirates who actually protected the colony from invasion by the French and Spanish, then enemies of England. It covers a highly colorful black man kidnapped by slavers from Africa, who managed to survive and become leader of the Maroons, escaped slaves who fled to the mountains. Indentured servants are introduced with Blair Brannigan, a nine year old little girl sent from England sent to work off her prison term as a slave for a limited amount of time. The story describes the lives of other indentured white slaves, as that is what they were as often the man who paid for them didn’t release them when their term was up. It also covers the terrible earthquake that struck in 1692 and destroyed Port Royal.
This is an intriguing novel full of action, violence, misery, death, sickness, passion and love told in such a way that the reader lives the words. Its ending was weak and not a well written cliff hanger for the next book in the trilogy and the story drags for awhile when so much is dedicated to the actual earthquake itself, which was terrible, but one can only assimilate the same destruction told in a shorter fashion than what it actually covered.
I loved this story and I congratulate the authors on their ability to set down this segment of history.