OK. So he is called the Duke of Mayhem in a Rock and Roll band – that’s his stage name – but he has another identity – a Prince! The prince of Aldayne. Aldayne is an imaginary island off the coast of Ireland – quite large it seems and comprised of 2 volcanos and the land between. And then there is the black soil which grows black roses, black wine and black berries. Now if you have been to the Canaries, you will know about the balc volcanic sand/soil on Tenerife that grows a particlualrly sweet wine often just referred to as ‘Canary’ in historical records. The grapes grow in an unusual low braided form rather on long rows of trellis.
So Ginger has appropriated some of this geology, she has also appropriated a little geology from the Isle of Man, the island that does lay off the coast of Ireland – and was formed partially by an underwater volcano although nothing is active now of course.
So Aldayne, still has a monarch – a true feudal monarch, no constitutional monarchy here and Auggie was expected to be the 51st Quinn king of the island. Ginger also gives the island a rather nice history as a place that took in refugees and immigrants from all nations for a very long time, and where many of the aristocracy were black and there seemed to be no colour bar or racial tension.
Peaches McFee on the other hand was a music/media journalist born to a family of ‘hippies’. Or at least a family where, apart from the oldest son, the children were brought up in a rather free flowing family as the parents moved around a lot – often acting as caretakers for properties. In fact currently, they were living in a farm whose owner had bought it as a present for his wife, who died soon after, and thus he couldn’t bear to live in it. It was a $4 million complex of 10,000 sq feet of main house, with 8 bedrooms and 8 baths, plus a guest house of 2500 sq feet with 2 bedrooms opening onto a pool with a waterfall! There was a tennis court, stables, horses, full of animals and organic produce. Of the McPhee children, the one everyone falls in love with is the baby of the family – Dashiel – who loves to dance in a rainbow tutu and refuses to let anyone cut his strawberry blonde hair.
Peaches is hired by Auggie to write the story of his next band tour – a 5 month long trek round America and Europe, at a very sizable amount of money. But Peaches has a secret – and so it runs out does Auggie – in fact he has several that he doesn’t tell her.
This is very enjoyable and very different love story. A version if you like of Cinderella without the shoe and a rock band instead! Nice story telling and imaginative geography/geology/history of the island – combinations of the place we’d like so many places to be perhaps?