Charlotte O'Brien, Caribbean Voice
Tales of escape and of belonging flow together in a deeply sympathetic collection of voices bleeding with honesty.
The beauty of the Caribbean peeps through each story, like a sunset through a window behind each character, contrasting with political ugliness and defying rejection. Modern day ennui and frantic urban experiences lead to a nostalgia for an imagined inner peace attached to the Caribbean carried around with each character -- wherever in the world they are. When the narrator reminisces in 'Remember who you are' that there 'was really no challenge about the islands', 'they were small and everyone knew each other' the reader senses discomfort, shame even, as well as guilty pleasure, about his parochial origins.
The rhetoric of the Guyanese Republic is infectious and personal independence becomes paramount to its citizens. Staying put is compared to being marooned and helpless, but those who find freedom are not necessarily those who leave.
This review relates to the book
by N.D. Williams