Pearls are odd. Let’s just face the facts. For a pearl to develop, usually something miscroscopic invades the tissue area of a mollusk. The mollusk in counter attack, secretes a substance that wraps this invader in a shell. The shell is called a pearl sac. Over time, the sac solidifies into what is the pearl. Basically, something bad invades and becomes something good and valuable, the pearl.
“The Black Pearl” tells a similar metaphorical story of a young man named Ramon Salazar that realizes true value is not always what we think of. Ramon and his father are Pearl divers and sellers in the town of La Paz. They are successful and enjoy a relatively good life. But Ramon wants more. He wants fame and respect and he wants it immediately. In the quest to get this he finds a gigantic pearl, called the Pearl of Heaven. This pearl is the size of a grapefruit and dark, hence the title the Black Pearl.
Unfortunately, the cave he steals the pearl from is guarded by a huge stingray, called Manta Diablo. This stingray is said to walk among people, communicates with fish and sharks and even hunt those down who steal this pearl. (By the way, this book is not an action-thriller, sci-fi thing). After stealing the pearl, the Salazar’s fleet of ships is sunk and Ramon’s father is among the causalities. Ramon, who at first was skeptical of the Manta Diablo, begins to grow in belief.
In an effort, to set things right, he attempts to return the pearl only to be hunted down and almost murdered by a ruthless criminal. In the end, Ramon must decide between fame and fortune or honesty and character.
This book is a fiction work that tells the struggle of each of us to battle the lusts of the flesh. It makes you ask yourself, “what is more important, money or character?” The pearl is symbolic and reminds us that sometimes getting what we want is not really what we need.
This is a relatively quick read that can be easily read in 2-3 days. It is reminiscent of Steinbeck works. The Black Peal is a good book that is suitable for probably 3rd grade and above.