I’ve confessed my love of Southern fiction to you many times before. While I enjoy books of all genres, from mystery to classic to theological, I do like a Southern story well told. The Pirate Queen is one such story. In this novel, Patricia Hickman evokes the Southern sensibility through her choice of setting and in her use of beloved Southern icons, Southern Living magazine for example. However, the real strength of The Pirate Queen lies not with its location nor its regional idiosyncrasies. The Pirate Queen is a beautiful, moving story of love and commitment:
Treasure is found in the most unlikely places.
The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon–and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life.
Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying.
Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistance, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God’s presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?
Okay, true confessions: I had tears in my eyes a couple of times while reading The Pirate Queen. Hickman writes with honesty and tenderness about the nature of regret and second chances, and while there was one coincidence that seemed a little too convenient, on the whole this is a thoroughly enjoyable, deeply moving, beautifully written story that I highly recommend. Read it if you like a Southern story well told. Read it especially if you like any story well told.
We have a copy to give away to one of you (U.S. shipping addresses only). Please leave a comment if you’d like to be entered to win. We’ll announce the winner on August 11.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes…. Lisa thanks Waterbrook Multnomah publishers for providing the review and giveaway copy of The Pirate Queen.