Black Pearls is the first book in the series, The Island Trilogy. This fascinating family saga tells an insightful tale of the intimate lives of three generations of women, Laura, Elspeth (Ellie), and Amelia. The series starts late in the nineteenth century on a Pacific Island, and moves to Australia, before returning to the Pacific islands. The family saga turns full circle involving the key elements of love, envy, greed, prejudice, and faith.
Having lived for a number of years in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), I have portrayed the physical as well as the fascinating, custom side of life in a Pacific island setting. The atmosphere and tension of emotions is reproduced by painting word pictures of village life allowing the reader to almost smell the smoke from the women’s wood fires, hear the beat of the slit drums, and the crash of the surf onto the beach. The story keeps the reader absorbed and intrigued as it creates an in-depth picture of three women battling challenges, heartbreak and the isolation of island life.
Black Pearls weaves an imaginative and powerful story around Ellie Griffiths’ life on a Pacific island, where she resides for the first nineteen years of her life. Ellie, the adopted daughter of a missionary couple, is leading a carefree life in the remote, Pacific island village of Baninga in the New Hebrides, until…one fateful day a ‘recruiting’ ship calls into the island and the hand of tragedy strikes the village and all who live in it. Cruelly invaded by the murderous crew from the recruiting ship, the simplicity of Ellie’s life in a tropical wonderland with its background of jungle-clad mountains, white beaches, and gentle waterfalls, is no more. Ellie is thrust into a world filled with surprises and a forbidden love, which is influenced by her loyalty towards the only community of people she has known.
Read and follow the story of Ellie as she makes the perilous transition from an innocent girl forced to face the death of her parents at the hands of blackbirders, to a mature, young woman. Cry with her when she mourns the death of her parents, cheer for her when she escapes from the blackbirders, laugh with her when she is reunited with her natural mother, experience with her the thrill of her first kiss, and smile with her when she experiences life in a civilized world for the first time.
Once you read the first book in the Island series you will want to follow Ellie into a new phase of her life with a continuation of intrigue, jealousy, greed and romance in the second book in the family saga.