The Caribbean -#desertislandreads – Island of the Red Mangroves – Sarah Lark

 mangroves

Why a booktrail?

The follow up to Island of 1000 Springs revealing that the paradise islands of Jamaica and Saint Domingue might not be all that they seem

Story in a nutshell

Jamaica, 1753

Deirdre lives a rather sheltered life on her family’s plantation. She is the daughter of Nora Fortnam who we met in Island of 1000 Springs. Deidre has had somewhat of a scandalous start i life but she takes it all in her stride and is still as popular as the other girls although she seems disinterested.

When she comes across Victor Dufresne, a young doctor who asks for her hand in marriage, things change. They marry and set off to 

Saint-Domingue on the island of Hispaniola, where Deirdre can live without the burden of her mixed background. But what happens there changes everything …

Place and setting

Cayman Islands - Grand Cayman Where the novel opens Jamaica - Kingston Although Spanish Town is the capital, Kingston was becoming increasingly important, undoubtedly because of the port Cap Francais/Cap Haitien The plantage Nouveau Brissac and Plantage Roche aux Brumes are located near here.
Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman
Where the novel opens
Jamaica – Kingston
Although Spanish Town is the capital, Kingston was becoming increasingly important, undoubtedly because of the port
Cap Francais/Cap Haitien
The plantage Nouveau Brissac and Plantage Roche aux Brumes are located near here.

Think the Caribbean is paradise on earth? Think again.

The island of the Red Mangroves transports you from the British colony of Jamaica in the first book to Haiti or what was then the French colony of Hispaniola and the city of Cap Francais.

Jamaica

Dierdre Fortson, despite her scandalous start in life grows up to share her mother’s horror at the conditions and treatment that the slaves on the island are forced to endure day in day out.

These are the days where slavery was rife. Where the Maroons, a group of escaped slaves would soon work to infiltrate and free those living on the plantations.

These plantations were a mix of rich luxurious homes beside the ugly reality of the slave quarters where life was tough and every day tougher than the one before. Marriage to a man who owns one of the largest plantations in Hispaniola in the Caribbean, causes the secret from Deirdre’s past to come and haunt her future.

Haiti

Cap-Francais/Cap Haitien,

The Haiti  Deidre and Victor come to after their wedding and the tension between then regarding the treatment of slaves escalates. Cap Francais is a town where the relationship between slaves and plantation owners was set out in a French Code Noir, where pirate ships roamed the high seas, and where history shames us all.

….not all whites in Hispaniola burned their slaves

This is the place where the freedom fighting by the Maroons of Hispaniola is evoked with passion, grit and a heavy dose of reality. The freedom fighter Francois Macandal is known as the Black Messiah and together with the others, they are set on claiming back the island and terrorizing the white plantation owners. Things get very ugly and bloody indeed.

The atmosphere in Haiti becomes unbearable  and the subject of slavery and all that it entailed, and the social upheaval it resulted in, is painstakingly evoked.

We will drive the whites out of Hispaniola!

That Francois Macandal is gathering an army, and that all of the slaves in Hispaniola would eventually join their cause.

This was a difficult time for all and the story gives a unique view of the dark side of paradise.

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