by Diana McCaulay


by Diana McCaulay


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Set in Jamaica, this novel discusses the island’s story of slavery and independence from a personal perspective, shifting from an 18th-century narrative to one in the 1980s. Leigh McCaulay left Jamaica for New York at the age of 15 following her parents’ divorce. In the wake of her mother’s death another 15 years later, she returns to the island to find her estranged father and the family secrets he holds. As Leigh begins to make an adult life on the island, she learns of her ancestors: Zachary Macaulay, a Scot sent as a young man to be a bookkeeper on a sugar plantation in 18th-century Jamaica who, after witnessing and participating in the brutality of slavery, becomes an abolitionist; and John Macaulay, a missionary who came to Jamaica in the 19th century to save souls and ended up questioning the foundations of his beliefs. Leigh struggles with guilt and confusion over her part in an oppressive history as she also encounters the familiarity of home and the strangeness of being white in a black country. Examining themes of homecoming, belonging, love, and redemption, this novel—loosely based on the author’s own family history—explores how individuals navigate the inequalities and privileges they are born into and how the possibilities for connectedness and social transformation occur in everyday contemporary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845231965
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Diana McCaulay is a writer, a newspaper columnist, an environmental activist, and the chief executive of the Jamaican Environmental Trust. She is the recipient of the David Hough Literary Prize, a Euan P. McFarlane Award for Outstanding Environmental Leadership in the Insular Caribbean, and a Lifestyle Short Story award. She is the author of Dog-Heart, which won the Jamaican National Literature award.
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