5 Caribbean Books To Read For The End Summer

Every Bitter Thing Sweet
Prior to finding this book in the thrift store, Iwe weren't familiar with the author Roslyn Carrington. A few pages in, we was so enthralled by her vibrant story-telling that we wondered how we had managed to not hear about her before. Set in Trinidad & Tobago, the novel starts in the present and goes back and forth in time, as the two main characters grapple with the mistakes of youth and figure out how to assert agency in their lives. Will they be ruled by their past circumstances and errors? Will they allow their lives to be dictated by those around them? As they wrestle with these questions, they also come to terms with exactly what they mean to each other. As Trinis, we enjoyed seeing how the writer incorporated our vernacular and culture in a way that way that felt authentic and inviting to someone unacquainted to T&T life.

A Small Place
Written by Jamaica Kincaid, this essay is a scathing indictment on the legacies of colonialism in the author's native Antigua. Without mincing words, the writer lays bare the negative effects of colonial paradigms in the islands. She also goes into how tourism in Antigua & Barbuda (and the Caribbean in general) is largely a neocolonialist, classist system. As someone from the region who cringes at the resort model for tourism, I was pleased that Kincaid addresses how tourists tend to see the Caribbean as a paradise to which they can escape, willfully oblivious to the social and economic realities in the places they visit. The passion with which the author explores these topics makes for a invigorating read.

Claire of The Sea Light
Edwidge Danticat has long earned her place at the vanguard of post-colonial Caribbean literature. With this novel, you see. why Her writing is  hauntingly beautiful. Based in Haiti, the story surrounds a girl who has gone missing. It unfolds as  the community of Claire's sea side village searches for her. As they look, secrets, memories and disquieting truths are unearthed. This book like the others in Danticat's canon portray Haitians with all their strengths, longings,powers and flaws with grace. Danticat conveys how the realities that Haitians face like Humanity experiences elsewhere are complex and sometimes messy but connected to just as many manifestations of  goodness.

Here Comes The Sun
This is another book sieze your attention. You will find it very hard to put it down. At least that was the case for us. Written by Nicole Dennis~Benn, the story takes place in a Jamaican  town about to become the site of a mega resort. The main character {Margot} struggles to financially provide for herself and her younger sister. Despite the controversy surrounding the hotel's opening, the protagonist sees the business as a chance to escape her financial straits. In the midst of what is already a heated situation, she also romantically involved with an influential tied to the hotel. The book climaxes as Margot must decide whether to declare this forbidden love and what she is willing to sacrifice in the name of money.

Land of Love & Drowning
This book has been on our 'to read' list for a while. By some mystery, we haven't gotten around to reading it as yet. However, we do intend to change that pronto. Since we have not read it ourselves, at the moment we are summarising the descriptions we have seen. In the tale, at the dawn of the 19th century a ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. As a result of the disaster, three siblings become orphans. The three happen to  stuall possessnning looks and magical powers. 

Photography Credit: Kyeon Constantine

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