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Book Review: ‘Glimpse of Sunlight’ by Leona DeRosa Bodie and G. E. Gardiner

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GlimpseofSunlightIn Glimpse of Sunlight, Leona DeRosa Bodie and G. E. Gardiner combine a complex plot through the intersection of the lives of contemporary characters with their seventeenth century ancestors. The authors skillfully combine legend and myth with historical fact as they develop three parallel subplots, including stories of the golden age of piracy and sunken treasure ships. Set in the locale of Port Royal, Jamaica, the characters are faced with moral choices that range the gamut of revenge, violence, murder, greed, and sensual compromise. A voodoo priestess, a haunted house, and a secret attic room add to the intrigue of this action packed novel.

Bodie’s and Gardiner’s word pictures and descriptive phrases add vivid color to the black and white ink illustrations of Steve Witucki. These mental pictures add to the enjoyment of the reading experience. I frequently found myself putting the book down to allow mental pictures materialize as I recalled vivid personal memories.

The authors evoke the involvement of all five senses as they describe:  bougainvillea blooming in their full glory, the tropical storms of Montego Bay, the shimmering Blue Caribbean Sea, the peal of the chimes from St. Peters Anglican Church, a two foot Jamaican Iguana and the tombstone and jail cell of Lewis Galdy, a 17th Century household name.

The complexity of parallel plots, the use of back-story, and the numerous key characters and similar names throughout the chronicle required a focused reading. This is offset by the sense of being carried back in time to experience the difficulties, trials, and struggles as they happened. An important guide for book clubs and reading groups provides helpful questions for stimulating discussion.

Glimpse of Sunlight is sure to add new fans to the growing number of enthusiasts of the works of both authors. This is the first of a trilogy of the Jonathan Dickinson Odyssey.

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About Richard R. Blake