Thursday, August 23, 2007

A High Wind in Jamaica

Richard Hughes has crafted a unique tale of children at sea in the Caribbean. His novel is well written, bringing just the essential details of the world of the Bas-Thornton children to our attention. He also portrays a psychology of children that is precursor to that of Golding's Lord of the Flies. Hughes more carefully introduces the character of the children (especially Emily) slowly building suspense. The pirates do not have a chance. Their voyage is a violent voyage from innocence to experience, yet, as the novel accurately portrays them, they will probably gradually forget most of what has happened. This can be seen as an allegory on the level of those by Melville and others who have gone before.

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, New York: Harper & Row, 1929.

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