The Golden Hawk Is a Turkey

The Golden Hawk is another bauble on Frank Yerby’s string of best-selling period romances. Yerby sets this one in the West Indies in the 1600s when human life was cheap and New World gold plentiful.

Bastard Kit Gerado, master of the pirate ship Seaflower, seeks a fortune plundering Spanish shipping. He longs for revenge on Spanish grandee Don Luis Del Toro, the man responsible for his mother’s death by torture.

Kit is a gorgeous, golden haired hunk: Errol Flynn with a bleach job. He has impeccable manners, unwavering loyalty, great compassion, enormous courage, and a Jewish sidekick, Bernardo, to provide the common sense Kit lacks.

On one of his plundering expeditions, Kit rescues Rouge, an English woman raped by Don Luis. Kit also captures Don Luis’s fiancé, Bianca, who falls for Kit, but he’s in love with Rouge. Which woman will win the Golden Hawk?

No mystery there. In fact, everything about this potboiler is totally predictable. The only surprise is that the novel is so sanitary. From the lurid dust cover, I expected a bodice-ripper, but Yerby’s most graphic details are his descriptions of mosquito bites.

Yerby does throw in some interesting historical tidbits, but not enough to rescue this banal novel from well-earned obscurity.

The Golden Hawk
By Frank Yerby
Dial Press , 1948
312 pages
Bestseller # 6 for 1948
My Grade: D+
© 2007 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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