Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Review: The Ghost of Useppa Island

The Ghost of Useppa Island
by Kimberly Ripley
Publish America, 2003, US
Mystery/SciFi/Young Adult, 46 pages
Paperback, $12.95
ISBN: 978-141370-219-4
Review by Ruth Cox
The legendary tale of The Ghost of Useppa Island, as told by author Kimberly Ripley, is storytelling in a ficticious setting; fiction, based on historical artifacts, that brings honor to the inhabitants, present and past, of imaginary Fort Euclid Beach, as well as to the real island string found along the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida (Fort Myers Beach region). It is a tale of the life of the Calusa Indian Tribe and their descendants, including the mysterious findings of all who search for the truth of the ghostly smoke curls that linger in the night sky over the island reef, emanating from the uninhabited island of Useppa.

Ripley introduces us to twelve-year old Carrie, vacationing at Fort Euclid Beach for the summer with her parents. Carrie meets the elderly author and historian, Jonah Myers, who gives her signed copies of his publications, both about the Calusa Indians. Honored to have been befriended by a real live author, Carrie prepares to dive right in to helping Jonah unearth the mystery of the smoke signals in The Ghost of Useppa Island.

Ripley entwines the reader amid the descendants living in the here and now with those that are dead and gone. Through each step of the journey, the author succeeds in breathing life to all who walk within the pages. Woven into the unraveling of fact from folklore about The Ghost of Useppa Island, the characters of the book share love, loss, respect, and friendship; mysteries of life to be enjoyed by the young reader as well as the aged.

Kimberly Ripley shows diligence and commitment to historical integrity by including in The Ghost of Useppa Island a list of references and points of interest in the Fort Myers Beach, Florida region. Readers are encouraged to utilize these resources to unearth some history and mystery of the area on their own, in person or online.


This review is written and ©Ruth Cox. Reviews written by Ruth Cox are the sole property of said reviewer. This book review is written for and first posted to: Ruthi Reads! No monetary compensation is received in exchange for the writing of this review. A complimentary copy of the book was presented to said reviewer via a random drawing for the book giveaway at an Author Chat with Connie C. on This fact has no bearing on the written result of the review.

For your convenience a link to purchase this book through Amazon is included. If purchase is made via this link, said reviewer will receive a referral commission: The Ghost of Useppa