I Married a Pirate
Camilla, a British ex-pat currently living in poverty in the south of France with her twin sons, starts an email relationship with a Pirate that quickly turns into something that sounds like r(omance. He wants her to bring her sons down to the Caribbean, live on his boat, and let him take care of them. How could you not when he puts it like this: “Stop wasting time with those F***s and come here. I promise to make you happy. No strings attached. Just come, I am rich man. I send ticket.” This is the most romantic – and coherent – thing he says. Ever.
If Camilla hasn’t given her heart to him yet, how can she deny the power of their first face to face meeting? In Camilla’s words, “This man was pot-bellied, pallid and covered in liver spots.” He is also short, with barely any hair, has a top row of false teeth, and a bottom row of disgusting yellow ones. Not to mention he’s up to his elbows in some illegal business operations, earning the Pirate sobriquet. His appearance changes slightly over the course of the book since he gets a tan to take care of the liver spots and he starts to shower regularly. However, his Caribbean Mafia-like reputation is maintained throughout.
Back to the plot. Camilla packs up her ten year-old sons and flies to a remote island to stay with a man she met online who is simply known as the Pirate. Never a thought is given to the fact that it might be wise to meet this man herself and discover if he is a wacko before dragging her children into the mix. Not long after they arrive on this unknown island and start living on the Pirate’s boat (and how silly do I feel typing “the Pirate?” More on that later), he proposes in the most romantic fashion: “You stay here with me. I marry you tomorrow and you stay with me, work in office. I pay you.” Be still my heart.
Camilla accepts, marries him, ships her children off to boarding school and discovers that she is more than the Pirate’s wife – she’s his prisoner. He has hidden all of her papers, credit cards, etc., he refuses to give her any money since she can get everything she needs either through him or by using his name on the island, he won’t let her have more than a quick chat with any tourists, and to top it off, he only lets her drive a small dinghy with just enough gas to get her from the boat to the shore. Camilla is furious and tries to think of a plan to get the better of the short, old, fat man. That’s when she finds his gun.
I’ll start with Camilla. She is somewhat amusing in her general observations about life on the island. Some things made me almost chuckle. She’s a fruitcake, though. I already mentioned the whole bring-your-kids-along-to-meet-mama’s-new-Internet-boyfriend thing. I’m still trying to figure out how she reasoned not having enough food to feed herself and her children on a daily basis while living in France, yet had a computer and internet connection. Me? I’d pawn my laptop before I let my babies go hungry. Anyway, Camilla does stand up to the Pirate, but she never gets any results since the guy is a loon. I admire her courage, but it came about too late.
My reasons for disliking the Pirate could fill about 30 pages. I’ll try to be brief. He’s disgusting. I love an ugly duckling story; this is not one of those. He doesn’t have a sparkling personality to make up for the fact that he resembles Jabba the Hut. He also has an accent which is probably the worst use of written dialect I have ever seen. The author uses hyphens in almost every word uttered from the Pirate’s mouth (i.e. “wha-tyou doin”, “don-lie”, “pos-toffice tol me”). It makes me long for the Scots romances with all those “dinnas” and “fashes.”
One of my biggest pet peeves would be the lack of names and places. We never learn the Pirate’s name, Camilla’s son’s names, where they are, and God forbid anyone should have a last name in this book. It all makes for a weird sense of detachment from the world Samantha David is trying to create. I don’t need a complete dossier of each cast member, but something a littler better than “The Pirate” would have helped.
I could go on and on. I admire a writer who wants to turn conventions on their head, but please do it in a way that still makes for good reading. I’ll admit I was speechless when I finished I Married a Pirate. It took me quite a few days to get my thoughts together in order to write a coherent review. Not an easy task when the book you’re reviewing isn’t coherent. Save your money and move on.