These are people struggling for their place in the world, eager for entry into the middle class but always anxious that their hold on security is precarious. These are people wondering who they are – Jamaicans, of course, but part of a global cultural world dominated by American material and celebrity culture.
Her characters – male and female – want love, self-respect and sometimes excitement, but the choices they make quite often offer them the opposite. They pay lip service to the pieties of family life, but the families in these stories are no less spaces of risk, vulnerability, abuse and self-serving interests. Sharon Leach’s virtue as a writer is that she brings a cool, unsentimental eye to the follies, misjudgements and self-deceptions of her characters without ever losing sight of their humanity or losing interest in their individual natures.
The beauty of her writing is its ability to marry the underlying muscular deftness of her prose with the voices of her narrating characters and the variety of registers they speak. She writes about the pursuit of sex, its joys, disappointments and degradations with a frankness little matched in existing Caribbean writing.