The Unentitled

The Unentitled

The Unentitled

Description

Michael Strapp is the talented son of Maggie, the publican’s widow, fifteen stone and often tipsy. To escape his mother and her friends, he devotes himself to work, winning first a scholarship to Millborough Grammar School and then to the University. When he joins a firm of consulting engineers, hard work brings him rapid promotion and within two years he is sent to work in Santidad, a little-known island in the West Indies. The job itself presents no problems; it is people he finds hard to manage, especially the blimpish Colin Wright, his new boss, and Jane Humphreys, who might have been his friend.

 

He is troubled too by the poverty of the islanders and his own inability to help them. Santidad is approaching independence but still has many of the features of a colony, including a brittle social life presided over by the glamorous widow, Lady Humphreys, Jane’s sweetly domineering problem-mother. It is a beautiful island, lush and sweet-scented, but it is also poor and backward. Santidad, with its sharp contrasts, is a suitable setting for a story in which prejudice and tolerance, love and hatred, clash and interact to bring about a sequence of events whose outcome is happy for some, tragic for others. The guilty go unpunished and only the truly innocent suffer.

 

Review

“The Unentitled” is a love story but one which is head and shoulders above the usual run of romances, both fluent and readable throughout. A satisfying book with credible people and amusingly portrayed against the well-observed background of a tropical island whose great beauty belies the growing stresses in its society.

 

Michael Strapp moves out of his dockland background and away from his gin-drinking, cheerfully uncomprehending mother to university and then to Santidad, in the West Indies, as a civil engineer.

 

Jane Humphreys moves from the elite-land of Santidad and her glamorous socialite mother to university in England – then back to the West Indies.

 

The two meet and understand each other’s problems. They fall in love in the atmosphere of colonialism and emerging racialism in an island of contrasts.

 

There is much unstrained humour.

 

A satisfying book with credible people well and amusingly portrayed against the well-observed background of atropical island whose great beauty belies the growing stresses in its society.

Western Morning News