a nutshell: set in 1981, this heartbreakingly evocative novel follows a young woman as she explores her memories while attempting to flee the violence of her homeland, Jamaica
a line: “Jamaica was too young to die”
an image: a rural sign reading ‘FRESH POETRY & EGGS’ is left to interpretation – spelling or reality?
a thought: I identified strongly with the main character, Jean, particuarly in how she reads constantly – pressing her ear close to the world of fictional characters, as Cezair-Thompson describes it, like a vagrant at a windowpane
a fact: towards the end of the novel, Jean realises she has always believed in egun iponri – ancestors – which the author explains more in this insightful interview
want to read The True History of Paradise? visit here
a nutshell: set in the 18th century, this utterly absorbing novel weaves together stories of love and cruelty during the period of slavery in Suriname – a raw exposé of life under the chief sugar colony for the Dutch
a line: “Five cents for a pound of sugar, and how many hands, arms, legs and human lives were sacrificed for this!”
an image: many parts of this book were heart-wrenching – one of these moments was the scene in which a child throws himself between his hateful mother and his beloved slave to protect the latter, reflecting how family dynamics were twisted in these oppressive households
a thought: I haven’t been so addicted to a book in a long time – I was reading it at breakfast, on my lunchbreak, right after work – I even had to be comforted by a colleague when I was visibly upset by one plot twist; McLeod is an absolutely masterful writer
a fact: the book was made into a major motion picture, framed differently from the book but still potentially worth a watch!
want to read The Cost of Sugar? visit here