Book: Dido’s Prize by Eugenia O’Neal
Publisher: Parker Publishing
Publication date: 2008
Source: Won from the author during the Black History Month blog hop hosted by Mocha Girls Read and Reflections of a Bookaholic. See the video of my name being drawn by the author’s daughter: Black History Month Blog Hop Giveaway Winner. My prize package included some fun extras — pirate playing cards, bookmarks, and a colorful Virgin Islands postcard featuring a map, pirates, and exotic birds and flowers.
Summary: Dido, an enslaved woman in 17th century Jamaica, disguises herself as a young man to run away. She finds a form of safety on the ship commanded by the pirate El Negro, but, of course, that plunges her into all manner of other dangers. Her goal is to earn enough treasure as a pirate to buy the freedom of her family members, but the life of a pirate and the attraction she feels for her captain conspire to pull her away from an island that had never been a true home for her or her people.
Thoughts: The author of Dido’s Prize, Eugenia O’Neal, lives in the British Virgin Islands so it’s no wonder that reading this novel feels like taking a Caribbean vacation with a beautiful setting of island and sea. I read this a few months ago, but saved my review until now because I think it would be the perfect summer beach read with pirates, adventures, and romance.
Eugenia O’Neal’s website, Eugenia Writes!, is a delight as well. Her recent blog entries include her participation in the Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon, photos of the exotic fruit of her sugar apple tree, and the geographical “facts” of the fictional island setting of her next novel to be released in June.
Appeal: This is presented as an adult literary novel, but I think it works equally well as a YA title for older teens. There’s enough adventure for the gents even though the point-of-view character is a young woman. As a romance reader, I enjoyed the love the story but Dido’s Prize is structured as an adventure, not a romance novel.
What do you recommend for summer reading in 2012?