Deirdre McGregor is orphaned when
her entire family is killed by vengeful native chief,
Chocorua. Ill prepared to survive on her own, she leaves
the destroyed remains of her home to seek help and becomes
lost. When she nearly drowns by crossing a lake, she is
rescued by a fur trapper. In exchange for saving her life,
Deirdre becomes his woman. He introduces her to pleasure
and passion. When the pair arrives at a local tavern, a
pirate captain notices the lovely young woman and schemes to
have her in his power.
Deirdreís Tale is a
solidly researched historical with crisp (and often
introspective) writing and dark, brutal themes. It is also
in keeping with the true mission of the erotica genre, and
is in no way romantic, nor does it pretend to be. Whenever
romance rears its pink fluffy head, it is quickly
decapitated by the author with forceful realism.
Although I felt sympathy for the
protagonist, Deirdre, even admiring her courage for all she
endures, while being aware that in the 1720ís, there were
few options for women outside marriage-where in both cases
you became a manís property-I grew resentful. Yes, she made
her choice and accepted the ramifications of that choice.
It did not matter; I resented how her will and sexuality was
used to recreate her. In this, there was no hope, no
salvation, and no justice for her plight. I needed more
from the author and the character.
It took a great deal of effort for
me to understand and respect the fact this novella was
directed at an entirely different audience-one I did not
belong to. With that understanding, I could appreciate Ms.
Campbellís realistic approach to the story, and the way she
understood her character and the supporting characters. The
pirate, Alberto Garcia, responsible for Deirdreís hardship
would have broken a lesser woman. Still, I always find it
difficult to read a story in which an irredeemable
antagonist reigns supreme in the plotline by taking conflict
to new heights with the heroine at the center. It does not
sit well with me when the underdog is totally overtaken this
way without recourse.
To this end, Iím not certain if the
authorís intention was to expand Deirdreís Tale
into a sequel. If so, I must confess that this type of
story is not for me. I overstepped myself in reading it
without doing a bit more investigation. Itís a lesson that
I will take to heart in sticking with my literary
preferences or stepping outside them. I was way out of my
league on this one, and have no problem admitting it.
Sometimes a reviewer will bite off more than she can chew.
For erotica fans who can appreciate this work, Ms. Campbell
delivers all around.