Jamaica Kincaid's new novel is narrated by a seventy-year-old West Indian woman looking back on her life and evoking the relationships that have given it meaning. Her themes are sex, human relations, and the interplay of power and powerlessness, and how easy it is to fall from one into the other. Her story, which begins at the height of imperialism and ends in the twilight of colonialism, abounds in the vivid characters, strong situations, and pyrotechnic writing that make Jamaica Kincaid one of our most compelling novelists.
Writing in precise, lyrical prose that uses the repetition of images and words to build a musical rhythm, Jamaica Kincaid conjures up the world of Dominica in all its beauty and casual cruelty, a world in which the magical coexists with the mundane, a world in which the ghosts of colonialism still haunt the relationships between men and women. In doing so she has written a powerful and disturbing book.