The Jumbee Pamela Keyes
After her father dies of cancer, Esti and her mother move down to her father's house on the island of Cariba. Esti's father was a renowned Shakespearean actor and Esti has long feared having her own career in his shadow. Cariba's high school has an excellent theater program that Esti hopes will launch her in her own right. In the theater she is coached by someone she cannot see and no one else can hear. Most inhabitants of Cariba say the theater is haunted. Is Esti's acting coach really the Jumbee everyone is talking about?
This is an excellent retelling of Phantom of the Opera with a liberal dose of Shakespeare. I loved the modern high school setting. I also really liked the West Indies setting-- Keyes has lived in the Caribbean and captures the physical beauty of the islands as well the culture well. I liked the insight into things like how one scares away evil spirits or enters another's home but also the tensions on the island with its slave and sugar plantation past as well as tension between island natives and wealthy interlopers from the US. Keyes strikes the right balance of tragic and creepy with Alan's character. Because it's a retelling, I knew how it was going to end, but Keyes keeps the suspense up so well and had me si invested in the characters that I kept turning the pages faster and faster to see how it would play out.
Book Provided by... my local library
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