This month, we’re delving into audiobooks by Caribbean authors. From the magical world of the Greek gods re-imagined through to a novel that follows the repercussions of the Haiti earthquake, these four recommended reads are brilliant, lush, and evocative in endlessly inventive ways.
Check them out today!
At the end of a long, sweltering day, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all.
Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and—at the same time—an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit.
Telling stories of ordinary lives with extraordinary skill, Pamela Mordecai draws delicately detailed portraits of life in Jamaica and other islands, with occasional trips to Canada. Her characters speak with the cadences of the Caribbean, and cope with the universal experiences of birth and death, joy and betrayal.
In “Hartstone High”, a group of girls learn the high price of education; in “Alvin’s Ilk”, a self-centered teenage boy comes to see his elderly neighbor in a whole new way; and in “Shining Waters”, a young priest’s plans for his new parish go horribly awry. Mordecai turns a sharp ear to the nuances of everyday speech, exposing the currents beneath the calm exterior and producing complex tales that will challenge and entertain her readers.
How does memory become myth? How do lies become family lore? How do we escape the trauma of the past when the truth has been forgotten?
Barbados, 1962. Lost soul Iapetus roams the island, scared and alone, driven mad after witnessing his father’s death at the hands of his mother and his older brother, Cronus. Just before Iapetus is lost forever, he has a son, but the baby is not enough to save him from himself—or his family’s secrets.
Seventeen years later, Iapetus’s son, the stoic Atlas, lives in a loveless house, under the care of his uncle, Cronus, and in the shadow of his charismatic cousin Z. Knowing little about the tragic circumstances of his father’s life, Atlas must choose between his desire to flee the island and his loyalty to the uncle who raised him.
Time passes. Atlas’s daughter, Calypso, is a beautiful and wilful teenager who is desperate to avoid being trapped in a life of drudgery at her uncle Z’s hotel. When she falls dangerously in love with a visiting real estate developer, she finds herself entangled in her uncle’s shady dealings, a pawn in the games of the powerful men around her.
It is now 2019. Calypso’s son, Nautilus, is on a path of self-destruction as he grapples with his fatherless condition, his mixed-race identity and his complicated feelings of attraction towards his best friend, Daniel. Then one night, after making an impulsive decision, Nautilus finds himself exiled to Canada.
The Island of Forgetting is an intimate saga spanning four generations of one family who run a beachfront hotel. Loosely inspired by Greek mythology, this is a novel about the echo of deep—and sometimes tragic—love and the ways a family’s past can haunt its future.
When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.
In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise – all in the midst of an impending hurricane.
Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colourism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic – and what it means to discover your own voice in the centre of complete destruction.