The Reading Guide for Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
May 2008 Book Selection: The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
1. Is this the story of a pirate’s daughter? Why or why not? Is there more thanone pirate in the novel?
2. How does Cezair-Thompson use the concept of pirates to tell the largerpolitical story of Jamaica’s path to independence? What does this book sayabout Colonialism?
3. Is this a novel about race? Is it a novel about class?
4. Passions run deep in this novel, both love and hate. Do you consider this alove story? Is it a love story between couples, or a love song for Jamaica, orboth? What various kinds of love fuel the plot? What kinds of hatred drive the narrative?
5. Strong mothers abound in this book, even the mothers we read about only inpassing who leave Jamaica for New York to earn a living for their children. Do you think Ida is a good mother? Do you think that is a fair question, given thechallenges she faced? How important are fathers, and father figures?
6. Maps play a significant role in this novel. The greatest mysteries, though, arefinding ways to understand hearts and histories. What guides May in her journeytoward self-discovery? How does Nigel find peace?
7. How does the story of Errol Flynn and Hollywood add to the novel?
8. How do the interplay of fact and fiction enliven the story?
9. Place is critical in this novel. How does Cezair-Thompson use differentsettings to advance her tale?
10. What notions of beauty shape this story?
11. Much of the novel is about seduction, but not always the literal kind. Whatseduces different characters, and why?
12. Movies are important to the story, but in the end May is most influenced bywords and books. Why does she seem more interested in one form of mediaover the other?
13. How important to the novel is the theme of forgiveness?
14. Is Jamaica a character in this novel?