Ivy, May 2003, 432 pp.
Renowned for her global travel books, India McKnight needs a guide to visit the South Seas island of Takaku, but no one will take her because of the native cannibal populace. British Naval Captain Simon Granger suggests India ask Jack Ryder, who lived with cannibals, to take her. Jack and his adolescent partner Patu agree to take India to the island so that she can determine whether the rock formation is natural or man-made.
Jack drops India on the island, giving her a few hours to return. However, Simon and his ship arrive. They want to catch Jack, accused of killing half a crew by sinking the Lady Juliana. Jack takes India hostage and they trek across the island as he tries to reach the French side. On the journey, Jack and India fall in love, but he knows she has no future with him.
Fans of the African Queen will want to read this nineteenth century south Pacific version of the classic. The story line hooks the reader from the moment India dumps a bucket of water on a drunken sleeping it off Jack. Readers will compare the lead couple to Bogart and Hepburn and realize the duo is a charming pair. Though some readers may detest the use of profanity, it fits in an action-packed plot that goes full throttle until the finish.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner