This hugely ambitious novel, set in Haiti, has two main characters. One is Toussaint l’Ouverture, the famous eighteenth-century former slave who briefly freed his island and people from foreign oppressors. The other is Shorty, a trapped 15-year-old gang leader who recounts his tragic life story to himself while awaiting rescue from the terrible earthquake of 2010. Both stories are told in parallel, and each is connected by supernatural forces involving not just voodoo but the whole apparatus of primitive faith systems still believed in today as they were two hundred years ago. The result is a novel dark in every sense of the world, from Shorty’s incarceration deep in the rubble to the endemic violence thrown up by the struggle for existence in Haiti that still continues. Published in two editions, one for the YA market and the other for adults, this novel is truly impressive, rich in detail including many examples – with translation – of the patois spoken between native Haitians. It is also an extremely tough book to get through. Horrors abound, and while this is inevitable in any novel set in Haiti, past or present, there was for me a considerable feeling of relief at the last page and not just because Shorty survives against the odds. Nick Lake deserves congratulations for his achievement and every right to expect many readers, hopefully less squeamish than this one.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2012-01-01 00:00:012022-01-24 17:23:50In Darkness