It promises to be a long winter! Why not escape to the South Pacific in 1956 by diving into Pinctada? Pinctada is a historical noir, coming-of-age novel duo comprised of two novels that are intended to be read as one work.
Pinctada explores the lives of two young Americans — Bill Benton and Brittany “Bambi” Macey — as they encounter tumultuous months in French Polynesia in the mid-1950s, where they must endure and overcome unforeseen challenges of adulthood in an extraordinary world that is beyond their imaginings when they run away on a stolen yawl, challenges that are resolved by fate, courage, perseverance, a child, and a strategic return.
What follows is the beginning of an excerpt from Found and Lost in Paradise, the second of the two novels that comprise the Novel Duo that is Pinctada … It is 1957, and Bill Benton and Mahana Tetuanui are at work at Teoo on the Tikehau Atoll building a facility for the cultivation of black-lipped, pearl oysters (Pinctada margaritifera). Bill has left his partner, Brittany “Bambi” Macey, and their newborn daughter in the care of Oliana Teriierooiterai at Puama’u on Hiva Oa in the Marquesas …
It is early morning in Puama’u, which is still in the shadow of Hiva Oa’s backbone, but the gleam from the rim of the sun that has just breached the rim of the Pacific’s eastern horizon is coloring the sky a pastel rose, a hue that suggests itself in the light seeping through the windows of Oliana’s bungalow. Bambi lies on her side on a sleeping mat within the confines of mosquito netting, and her bare skin perceives the hint of dew that has settled onto it. Her head rests on the crook of her right arm; she cradles Rebecca Rowena Randall Macey with her left hand as the baby noisily and happily suckles at her mother’s breast.
There are other morning sounds, distant sounds like the gentle pulsing rush of Puama’u’s diminished surf, which, in the perpetual lee of the island’s high ridge does not benefit from the constant push of the trade winds. Complementing the rhythm of the surf, the fronds of the plantation’s palm trees rustle in the moderated breeze and coming from within the cocoon of the mosquito netting, there is another sound: the rhythmic purr of Oliana’s, sleep-subdued respirations. But Bambi’s senses are tuned only to her baby, the feel of her little one’s soft, smooth, and warm skin, the still novel sensation of Becca’s eager mouth slurping sustenance from her breast, and every tiny twitch or stretch the baby makes.
Each time Bambi has engaged in this simple and ubiquitous motherly experience—one as old as the species—she has been brought nearly to tears by an awareness that she is fulfilling some predestined, almost sacred charge, and each time, she has been reminded of her own mother, a mother who had left her as a small child with no explanation, never to be heard from again. Each time Bambi has looked into the blue eyes of her daughter, every time she has held Becca to her breast, she has felt a gaping wound in her soul beginning to heal, the horrific pain of her mother’s abandonment lessening with each assertive suckle upon her breast, but as she has felt the hurt diminish, it is supplanted by a growing anger toward her mother. The high heat of that anger is steeling her determination—no matter what twists and challenges she will have to face in the months and years ahead—to never abandon the tiny soul she is cradling with her hand … TO READ THE ENTIRE EXCERPT, CLICK THIS LINK: PINCTADA
—En Mer and Found and Lost in Paradise are two separate novels that are intended to be read as one, and as such, they comprise Pinctada, which can be purchased as a Kindle book or as a trade paperback via Amazon (U.S.) or Amazon U.K.—
—For more information about Pinctada, other books in the Myers/Benton Chronicles, or other examples of my literary efforts, please visit Jeff Lee Byrem Creations—
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