Errol Flynn arrives in Jamaica on a ship wrecked boat barely surviving a terrible storm Errol Flynn is stranded in Jamaica after his storm ravaged boat lands him on the island. The well-noted movie actor is shaken but alive. He has no idea he is going to meet a beautiful local girl and fall for her. Ida is her name and the two would not have met if Ida's dad were not a taxi-cab driver.
Ida's parents Eli and Esme Joseph have a common-law marriage. Esme is scorned by many women on the island who know that he is still married to his first wife who refuses to grant him a divorce. He has two daughters from this union who he does not have a relationship with. He has made a life with Esme and Ida adores him.
Eli works a justice of the peace providing free services. He could have been a very rich man as many others had come to Jamaica and found their fortune. Although he comes from a monied family he will have strike it rich on his own. A down to earth man he works hard which has gained him the respect of many people. A white Jamaican, he is friends with many black people on the island. While he wasn't rich in dollars he had admiration and respect two very nice qualities to hold.
His cousin Aaron Levy is one of Eli's wealthy cousins and invites Errol to stay with him at his estate. He tells Flynn that his cousin is a justice of the peace and can notarize the paperwork needed for a new passport since his has been lost in the ship wreck. He knows Eli's daughter would love to meet Flynn.
Things keep happening to Errol, good and bad. At forty, he has made over twenty movies. He has also been recently tried for rape. He was acquitted but the whole nasty thing has taken a toll on his body he needs a rest. His wife is in California but he doesn't know when he will be able to return. He isn't quite sure what he had done to be caught in a horrific storm on a doomed ship. For now, he will make the best of Jamaica while he figures some things out.
Ida and her dad visit the place where Errol's wrecked boat Zaca lay patrolled by a policeman. Errol was nowhere near. Local paper headlines told of women passing out at the sight of the movie star. Ida has to accompany her grandmother Oni in the Blue Hills which is several hours away to visit her grandmother. She throws a teenage fit and her father urges her to go ahead with her mother and he will take her back out later to meet Errol.
Oni is a Maroon African and a highly respected Bush woman. She knows her roots and can cure most ailments as well as predict the future. She wants to give her granddaughter a reading, but Esme declines saying they must get back.
Flynn rides in the front seat with Eli instead of being chauffeured. The two hit it off and Eli buys Flynn lunch. Flynn is touched people (Americans) usually approach him for money and favors. Flynn gets quite drunk and while Eli only sips. He tells Flynn that his daughter is going crazy about meeting him and Flynn says he would be delighted to make her acquaintance.
Esme and Ida arrive back to late to meet Errol. Eli promises his pouting daughter that he will take her out the next day as he's convinced Flynn to remain on the island a few more days.
Ida soon gets to spend a lot of time with her Errol through her father. Eli becomes a business advisor to Flynn who wants purchase property on the island. This brings him to Jamaica several times over the next year.
Ida becomes smitten with him even more. She speaks her mind. Esme tells her she is just a child and to address him as Mr. Flynn. She argues back that he has asked her to call him Errol. Back and forth they argue with Ida wondering how she will handle things if he starts showing a different kind of interest in her. A friend's sister has gotten pregnant and is talked about by island women. She ends up having the baby and working as a prostitute servicing men on the many ships that dock.
Esme tires of people calling her house asking to speak to Flynn, and even more tired of Eli funding the excursions when he and Flynn hang out. After all he is the big movie star.
Errol spends some of his money and purchases Navy Island where he starts building Bela Vista. Esme grows ill and Ida is sent to boarding school. She misses Errol. A white boy takes interest in her and they talk easily, the next day she hears the rumors. He has told his friends that he felt her up. His sister says he can't get serious with a colored girl. She decides boys are silly with the exception of Clive, a nice young man on scholarship. The son of her mother's beautician. She still pines for Errol and covets a letter he writes her telling her that school will be over before she knows it.
On a visit home Esme tries to have a heart-to-heart out of concern for Ida's future. Ida is not hearing it. She tells her mother she doesn't have to worry about her getting pregnant by some nobody she is going to marry Errol.
Errol does get married but only after divorcing the wife he had when he landed in Jamaica. As he builds his Jamaican estate he marries another American. Paulette comes with him when he returns to the island. Ida is devastated and she doesn't want to hear her mother when she tells her he was not for her in the first place..
Esme's sister Carmen comes to visit as Esme's illness has gotten worse. She has terminal cancer. Her time is near and Oni comes down from the mountains to be with her in her final days. Carmen and Oni argue over the best thing to help Eli through Esme's impending death.
Esme is gone soon after. Eli misses her terribly and finds a way to encourage Errol when he shares that the passion is gone from his new marriage. Paulette has delivered their baby girl, and as a new mother the baby is getting her attention. He's also been accused of having raped another underage girl back in the states.
Paulette is unable to accompany Errol on a rafting trip and he invites Ida. He presents her with a gold bracelet he pulls her into an embrace and kisses her full on the lips. The next day he leaves for the states with Paulette and the baby. He doesn't call Ida to say good-bye.
He returns to Jamaica alone as Ida is entering her last year of high school. He tells her that they have separated. He casts Ida in a film he is shooting about Jamaican marine life. Eli was smart enough to have a contract drawn up for Ida's role. Errol is offended but signs the paper saying she will earn a hundred dollars for her acting part.
Ida is pregnant by Errol. When she tells him he blows her off leaving the next day. Eli doesn't take it well. He reaches out to Errol for months. There are no return phone calls. Ida is seventeen, not a girl and not yet a grown woman. Errol has abandoned his obligation and the heart of a girl who should have left him alone. Ida delivers a baby girl with Errol no where to be found. It breaks Eli's heart.
Errol returns to Jamaica a few weeks after the baby May is born and meets with Eli. He takes no responsibility for his actions. He has plenty of other paternity suits already. The friendship between eh two men is over. The baby carries his last name much to the Eli's dismay.
Eli suffers two strokes and can no longer work. The hospital won't release him without payment. They are flat broke. Ida contacts Errol and tells him they are short of money. He wires her a whopping five-hundred dollars.
Eli finds enough bus fare lying around and with the assistance of a young boy manages the bus ride home. Ida is thrilled to see her daddy and he is glad to have escaped the hospital.
Ida takes a job at the phone company and soon after leaves for New York to live with Carmen. She gets several jobs while living in New York. She works as a restaurant hostess and is fired when she refuses to pass as white, a live in domestic, and as a receptionist in a doctor's office.
When she runs into Errol's friend Karl who has known her since she was a teen they date and marry. She writes wonderful letters home but doesn't go and check on her daughter who she's left with a sick Eli. Instead, she travels the globe with her oft jealous new husband. While sitting still in Venezuela Ida receives two letters asking her to come home. May is now seven-years-old and needs her mama.
She and Eli are rooming with Miss. Gloria and receives twenty dollars a month from Ida for their care. They are living in squalor and May is has been beaten by Miss. Gloria's husband and left bruises on the little girl's body. He doesn't want to lose the money he gets for boarding so he doesn't beat her again, continues to abuse her verbally.
On a repair job with one of Eli's old buddies May meets Errol who thinks she's cute. He dismisses her none-the-less. The little girl cries tears after meeting him and seeing his fancy house. His wife is even less impressed.
Jet-set Ida returns to Jamaica where Eli is happy to see his daughter and May isn't sure her mother is real. Eli dies and May shuts down communication, especially with Ida.
Errol goes broke and returns to the states to see about doing television series work. He has a new teenage live-in girlfriend. May gets over his rejection and writes a manuscript. She inherits the property of Karl, Eli' long term buddy when he dies. Even though she has been shunned all of her life for being the outside child of a famous American movie star, and abandoned for years by a confused and love-sick, money hungry mother, May, is going to be all right.
Best part of story, including ending:
I hated that Errol Flynn was such a womanizer and that he took the heart of a young girl and did nothing to support their child.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scenes were with Ida and Oni, her grandmother.
Opinion about the main character:
I disliked that Ida left her child alone to fend for herself. She and Flynn were both trifling.