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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
The best feeling a reader and reviewer can experience comes from knowing in the first few paragraphs of a book that one is in the sure hands of a professional and skillful writer about to tell a rip-roaringly good yarn. Seamus Beirne is an exceptionally polished writer and his novel, Breakout From Sugar Island, provides an exceptionally good tale. This powerfully hypnotic book represents historical fiction at its finest, providing both detailed, accurate, and exquisitely rendered descriptions of a distant time and community of people, and a story so richly dramatic and adventurous that one is tempted toward cliché. You see, I really couldn’t put it down.
The land Seamus Beirne describes in Breakout From Sugar Island is the Ireland of the 18th century. The main character whose destiny and fate we follow – interspersed with many others equally well drawn and true-to-life – is Michael Redferne, a man of complex integrity and purpose led by events incited by his own inclinations to become falsely accused as an outlaw in his home country. Subsequently apprehended and exiled by way of slave ship to Barbados to work the sugar fields under horribly brutal masters and conditions, Redferne must work to save himself and his fellow victims, including one unforeseen family member for whom he has long been seeking. This book is so incredibly well written and wonderful to read. Under Mr. Beirne’s deft handling of daunting characters and events, this book’s impeccably crafted, tension-laden plot unfolds with masterful precision and gutsy, even heart-pounding, assertion. And to tempt that old cliché just one more time, this is that book that keeps you reading late into the night.