'In two weeks we should have had Christmas, if the sickness had not come.' Ten children are left to fend for themselves when the matron of their orphanage dies during the pneumonia epidemic that is raging through Jamaica. Afraid they will be made to work in the labour camp, they decide to escape to the other side of the island. The perilous journey to Last Man Peak, with only their wits and courage to help them, was to change their lives forever. This tale traces their difficult and dangerous journey to reach Last Man Peak.
Jean Constantine D'Costa, storywriter, critic and teacher was born in January 1937 in Jamaica. She attended St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's High Schools and later studied at the University of West Indies. Later, she would pursue further studies at Oxford and Indiana Universities of the West Indies and Hamilton College 1980-1989, she taught English 200, Creative Writing, The Tortured Sensibility, Old English, History of the English Language and Major Caribbean Writers. D'Costa is also a well-established writer of children's books. Sprat Morrison, her first novel, captures the Jamaican atmosphere and speech rhythms with great precision and insight. Sprat Morrison has found a special in Jamaican schools' curriculum and is used as prescribed text in literature in many high schools. Her work in linguistics, especially on Jamaican Creole, is also well known. Language in Exile, a work she co-authored with Barbara Lalla, tries to recapture the Creole speech of early Jamaican society by analyzing rare, 18th and 19th century documents in their socihistorical context. D'Costa has also copy-edited a number of books for the University Press of the University of the West Indies, as well as a historical novel of filmaker Perry Henzell's, The Harder They Come which was written by Michael Thelwell. For many years she continued to write fiction and poetry for adults, adolescents and children. Jean D'Costa is now retired and lives in Weston, Florida.