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  • Writer's pictureAnanya Ridenour

Book Review: Breakout From Sugar Island

I just finished a novel, Breakout From Sugar Island, from my friend and local author, Seamus Beirne. Seamus did an excellent job bringing realism to this historical fiction narrative and enticed me to want to continue reading to see what would happen next. The characters were well thought out and I felt a connection with the protagonist, even with all his flaws. The historical setting of the novel became another significant character that loomed large and provided insight into a tumultuous time period in Irish history. Not only was the story compelling, but I also felt like I learned something new about history that I had not known before. I am very much looking forward to his newest novel, In Search of Brigid Coltrane, that was released in September.

When Michael Redferne pulls the body of twenty year old Maureen Kelly from a frozen Irish lake, something tells him he should leave well enough alone. But fear conquers instinct and he hides the frozen corpse in the ice house on Lord Preston’s estate. Unaware that sinister forces in the persons of Lady Preston and her lover are conspiring against him, he walks into a trap and is shipped in chains to Barbados, known as Sugar Island. Once there, Redferne joins thousands of African and Irish laborers who are forced to work in the cane fields from dawn to dusk under the cowhide whips of brutal overseers. The rising and setting sun becomes a doomsday clock, ticking off Redferne’s slow march to the grave. He must escape if he hopes to redeem his past and save his future.

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