Three distinct panels in West Indian civilization form the background of this chronicle novel, reaching from pirate days to the present. Jamaica -- the Barbadoes -- a rich background -- each of three periods brought into focus at the time of a cataclysm of nature. Almost brittle in style, yet striking -- unsentimental, but with a certain haunting loveliness. Not for the reader who looks for sheer entertainment. Sell to the discriminating reader who demands distinction.