Independence

Cecil Foster. HarperCollins Canada, $29.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-44341-505-7
Both abandoned by their mothers to the care of their grandparents, Bajans Christopher Lucas and Stephanie King are life-long friends. Discord arrives in 1966 in the form of the predatory Mr. Lashley, who takes a disquieting interest in 14-year-old Stephanie, lavishing gifts and attention on the teenaged girl. Conversations Christopher is too inexperienced to understand make it clear what the reprobate Lashley's true intentions are. Christopher finds himself suddenly denied his lifelong companion, forced to create a new identity for himself that does not include Stephanie, now too busy with her own challenges. Born in Barbados himself, Foster, a journalist who has published non-fiction and four novels (No Man in the House) draws on his knowledge of that island nation for this period piece. Written in Bajan dialect, the work is a frank but affectionate examination of Barbados in the late 1960s, a world where young women were not just more limited in their opportunities than boys but also subject to predation in ways boys were not, in a newly independent nation shaped by the legacies of more than three centuries of colonial rule. Agent: Denise Bukowski, The Bukowski Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4434-1507-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4434-1506-4
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