Holly Stacey sends us on a journey to a Caribbean plantation where a slave, Amber, and her mother work on a sugar cane plantation. Amber toils in the fields and occasionally helps her mother, the plantation’s healing woman. When the old master dies, his son, a cruel man bent on having Amber for his own, takes over. During a confrontation, Amber’s mother is killed, and Amber is shipped off on a slave ship bound for the Americas. There, her wits and the skills her mother gave her are put to good use, as she must struggle to stay alive so far from everything she’s ever known. A mutiny, pirates, and the discovery of treasure outline Amber’s incredible journey from slavery – a story of freedom on the high seas.
The Caribbean is a refreshing setting for this adventure. The descriptions of life on the plantation and life on the slave ship are vivid, detailed, and really become another character in this tale. The scenes involving voodoo magic performed by Amber’s mother were intriguing, and I wish that aspect had been used more. I was rather confused by Amber’s maturation, however. On the plantation she seems quite sheltered. Once on board the ship, she seems instantly worldly and resourceful. Rather than a gradual coming-of-age, the sudden change felt jarring. The novel also begins with a dream, and it felt like the novel deserved a stronger, more captivating opening.
If you like your historical fiction with a Caribbean, nautical flair, you will find this story of freedom inspiring.
Amazon link is here.