Lance & James Morcan,
(Sterling Gate, 2011)

English missionaries Susannah and her father, the Rev. Brian Drake, and adventurer Nathan Johnson arrive in the Fijian settlement of Levuka on the same day in October 1848 but with vastly differing agendas.

Susannah, a beautiful young woman who had led a restricted, sheltered life up to that point, accompanied her father simply because she didn't want him to be alone in this primitive outpost. Nathan, on the other hand, is in the islands to make his fortune, trading guns for beche-de-mer (sea slugs) that he will ship to China and sell for exorbitant prices.

Susannah is torn between desire and duty as she becomes more acquainted with the worldly Nathan. Her father is determined to shelter her from a man whose motivation he finds questionable. The growing attraction between the two young people takes a decisive turn that will impact many lives when Susannah is kidnapped by native outcasts who have been preying on the villagers for years.

Lance Morcan, a novelist, screenwriter and film producer, and his son, James, an actor and writer, have produced an exciting tale of romance and adventure, offering reminders of the great South Pacific tales of Jack London, James Michener and Louis Becke. A tendency to head-hopping in scenes is a bit distracting but, overall, the authors provide a good and interesting tale.

book review by
John R. Lindermuth

21 April 2012

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