Book - 2007
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"A soucouyant is an evil spirit in Caribbean folklore, and a symbol here of the distant and dimly remembered legacies that continue to haunt the Americas. This first novel set in Ontario, in a house near the Scarborough Bluffs, focuses on a Canadian-born son who despairingly abandons his Caribbean-born mother suffering from dementia. The son returns after two years to confront his mother but also a young woman who now mysteriously occupies the house. In his desire to atone for his past and live anew, he is compelled to imagine his mother's life before it all slips into darkness - her arrival in Canada during the early sixties, her childhood in Trinidad during World War II, and her lurking secret that each have tried to forget."--Jacket.
Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781551522265
Branch Call Number: FIC CHARIAN 2007
Characteristics: 200 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

A son returns home to his mother who has been living with dementia. He comes back to make peace with the demons of his family's life and reveal what's been lost before it's too late. Stories of her life in the Caribbean flash throughout. Folklore and remedies, an immigrant’s story.  - Kara

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Jun 18, 2017

Words well up like whispered confidences in this very personal story of a young man and his family relationships. Each tributary of the connections is explored and given life that allows us to view the meanderings and muddy waters. Beautifully detailed it parallels the folklore tradition that is mirrored in the title.

Mar 02, 2011

This book is gripping in all the best ways. It pulled me in emotionally, intellectually and physically. It felt like I was in a 3D book experience, as if I could almost reach out and touch the surroundings described. A great read.

Feb 01, 2009

For his first novel, David Chariandy handles a surprisingly complex story in an assured and compelling fashion. In the story of a young man returning to his home in Scarborough (Toronto) to care for his Trinidadian mother as she struggles with early onset dementia, Chariandy skilfully blends past and present, choreographs multiple plotlines and assembles a believable cast of vivid, diverse, intriguing and sympathetic characters.

Chariandy intertwines the themes of remembering and forgetting in a way that is haunting and fascinating. The flashbacks to Trinidad prompt me to seek out more about this country. This book is an immensely satisfying read on many levels. I look forward to what David Chariandy will do next.


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