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Janet

Black Rock by Amanda Smyth

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Black Rock by Amanda Smyth

 

The ‘blurb’

Celia's mother died bringing her into the world - when one soul flies in, another flies out, her Aunt Tassi says. So she lives in Black Rock, Tobago, with her twin cousins and Tassi's second husband Roman, a man so sly he could crawl under a snake's belly on stilts. Celia thinks that Roman is the devil, so when he does something that proves her right, she can’t bear to share a roof with him any longer. That night, while the world is still as if it is dead, she runs away to Trinidad.

 

With a vivid sense of the supernatural, Black Rock is an intensely moving novel by a talented new writer.

 

Celia knows that her mother died in childbirth and that her father, a white Englishman, wanted nothing to do with her, but she daydreams about one day taking the long trip to Southampton, England, to track her father down. Surely once he meets her he’ll want to get to know her?

 

When Celia has to deliver limes to Mrs Jeremiah, who is rumoured to be clairvoyant, she’s warned that she will be hurt by her Aunt’s husband Roman. Mrs Jeremiah also issues the following prophesy. “Men will want you like they want a glass of rum - to drink you up and pee you out. One man will love you. But you won’t love him. You will harm him. You will destroy his life. The one you love will break your heart in two. You’ll die in a foreign place”. She tosses Celia a lump of black rock to act as a talisman and Celia runs away as Mrs Jeremiah tries to exorcise her.

 

When Mrs Jeremiah’s warning about Roman comes true, Celia flees Tobago. There she starts to rebuild her life helped by the kindness of a young man she meets on the boat who looks after her and finds her employment with an English family who live in Trinidad. Celia soon finds happiness - but how long will it last?

 

I chose this book on my Book Spa day, because Amanda Smyth appeared at the Bath Literature Festival talking about this, her debut novel, and the shop’s owner, Nic said the book had been selling out as soon as it came in which is always encouraging. I liked the sound of it, plus the added benefit of it being eligible for one of my book challenges!

 

The ‘blurb’ mentions a “vivid sense of the supernatural” but to my mind it was really more about local superstition. However, it was an enjoyable story and the writing style is easy to read and reasonably descriptive - I really felt a sense of the Islands. As a debut I thought it was very promising and I hope she writes more.

 

The paperback is 250 pages long and is published by Serpent’s Tail. The ISBN number is 978-1846686962.

 

7

Edited by Janet

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Thanks for that Janet, I think that thanks to you I have just found my book for Trinidad & Tobago!

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Oh good - it'll be nice to have someone to discuss it with. I didn't want to give too much away in my review. :irked:

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