A Thirst For Rain
by Roslyn Carrington
Publication Date: Sep 01, 1999
List Price: $22.00 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 208
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Parent Company: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Set in the author’s native Trinidad and unfolding over the course of the worst dry season in years, this heartfelt debut swells with a host of fevered entanglements. A house divided into residences for four families, with a communal courtyard, functions as the stage for encounters between six prototypically Caribbean characters. Independent and sensual Myra is a dockside foodseller and single mother to Odile, a responsible teenage girl who excels at her studies. Myra’s father, Sebastian, is the town madman, strolling the streets with a pram full of trinkets. Then there is Rory, an angst-ridden young man who harbors a crush on Odile, and Slim, Myra’s slick, no-good lover. When Myra finds out she is carrying Slim’s child, she refuses the abortion he demands. Meanwhile, Jacob, once a champion stickfighter and now a humble cobbler with a crippled left leg, yearns to reach out to Myra, but fears rejection. A tender love develops slowly between them, but meanwhile Odile is suffering through her own unanticipated pregnancy, abandoning school and spending her days brooding at a nearby river. Rory follows her surreptitiously until one night, as the drought-stricken village is finally doused with torrential rains, his hidden love is transformed into violent, tragic passion. On occasion Carrington’s similes miss their mark ("Her eyes were like fried eggs"; "She was smiling like a banana") and her rendition of island patois is uneven. But short chapters move the narrative briskly, and the intense evocation of island life makes this a worthy addition to Caribbean fiction collections. However, North American readers may find the female characters frustratingly Faulknerian in their fatalistic attitudes toward their romantic lives. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.