The Spirit of Villarosa
In the hazy days after Baby Doc fled Haiti with the national treasury, Americans quickly became prime targets of kidnapping in the collapsed social structure. Marc Ashton was nabbed right outside his palatial estate which had been built by the famous photographer, adventurer, and diplomat, Horace Dade Ashton. llAlthough it becomes clear that Marc draws the necessary strength and courage from memories of his father in order to survive the ordeal, the mixing of these two narratives creates a yo-yo effect that jerks the reader from one part of the world to the other, from one point in history to another. At one point, the suspense of Marc’s story hangs on a jagged edge of life or death when he makes a break from his machine gun toting captors, but the reader must go around the globe with his father before finding out if Marc escapes or is shot. llReworked into separate biographies, both stories might easily succeed. After all, Horace Ashton’s adventures included photographing the first flight at Kitty Hawk, President Teddy Roosevelt at Panama, adventures with the Explorer Club in Africa, and photo interviews with Mark Twain.
Two Harbors Press
Horace Dade Ashton & Marc Ashton with Libby J. Atwater