In this nicely written debut, a young girl, Elvy, curses Oliver Cromwell after he murders a boy from her Irish village. In the course of seeking vengeance, Elvy ends up captured and sold into indentured servitude in the Caribbean, where she finds herself at Sharavogue, a sugarcane plantation on Montserrat, owned by an exiled Irishman. Elvy survives by keeping the flame of vengeance alive, never losing sight of her intention to regain her freedom and fulfil her vow.
The story moves along at a quick pace, sometimes a bit too quick. The novel’s sense of timing can be disjointed, and many events feel unrealistic and convenient. The use of dialect for various characters is a little distracting, but once the reader gets involved, it works well although occasionally melodramatic. The writing is engaging, and the historical elements seem to be well researched. I would recommend this to readers with an interest in the plantation culture of the Caribbean.