Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Review: The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

Saphora and Bender Warren are a well to do Southern couple. Behind the grandeur of their wealthy lives exists deceit and suffering. Bender is notorious for his infidelity and Saphora has had enough. She decides to leave him on the very day that he finds out that he is in fact terminally ill. He asks her to move to the coast with him as he gets treatment. The story unfolds as we delve into their lives from this point on.


I finally finished this one.

There was some heavy subject matter in this semi-dense read. Definitely not the type of book I'd readily pick up. But there was something about the language Hickman used that kept me intrigued. For starters, there's no secret that you're about to read a book about a man dying of cancer. It's in the blurb. But what makes this book so amazing is that despite the immense sadness it prepares you for before you even open its pages, is that the story and characters are so accessible.

At first, I was so embarrassed for Saphora. Living with this man for years and years and only deciding to leave him after he's cheated so many times. She makes so many mistakes in her life and throughout the book and you get to live through them too. I was annoyed with her, I felt sorry for her, I was saddened by her imperfection so late in life. And then somewhere in the midst of the story, I loved her. She's probably the most authentic character I've read in a while. Hickman paints a picture of this woman in the most unapologetic, raw manner possible.

Other treats in this book include inspirational quotes at the start of each chapter:
"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." -Ella Fitzgerald

and helpful book discussion questions at the end:
Saphora's strongest desire at the outset seems to be to run away from home. But in the end, we discover there were hidden desires realized in Saphora's story. What other intrinsic desires were driving her?

I really loved this book, although it's not something I'd read over and over. It was just way too sad for me! I do however highly suggest this read if you're okay with being a little blue while reading. Just make sure you have tissue handy!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review


  1. hi. what a great and powerful review. this is a book that i may want to read as well...i'll be keeping an eye out for this one when i'm out doing my "book hunts". :-)

  2. I'm not really good with some depressing books but if I ever come across this one I'll try to read it.

    And thanks for dropping by my blog! I bet your music choices are way better than mine, being the music guru that you are :D

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  3. I love depressing books, so I'll have to check this one out.

  4. Great review! Sounds like this one really tugs on the heartstrings!

  5. Thanks for the review. I should check this book!


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