21 February 2024

Ten Caribbean Reads For Your 2023 Christmas Wishlist

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The Caribbean region is home to a rich and vibrant literary tradition that often goes unnoticed in mainstream bookstores. While many readers may be familiar with the works of well-known authors such as Jamaica Kincaid or Derek Walcott, there is a vast array of talented contemporary Caribbean writers whose voices deserve to be heard. From the struggles of immigration to romance, to the joys and challenges of modern-day island life, these books provide a window into the rich tapestry of Caribbean society. So, this holiday season, as you compile your Christmas wishlist, consider adding some Caribbean reads to your collection. Not only will you be supporting talented authors, but you will also be embarking on a literary journey through the captivating landscapes and narratives of the Caribbean.

How to say Babylon, by Safiya SinclairJamaica

“How to Say Babylon,” encapsulates the author’s transformative journey, portraying Safiya’s struggle to reconcile her roots with her burgeoning self-expression. Through poetic and lyrical prose, the book delves into the universal theme of a woman finding her voice while offering a unique insight into the little-understood world of Rastafari culture.

When We Were Birds, by Ayanna Lloyd BanwoTrinidad & Tobago

“When We Were Birds” is a tale rich with themes of legacy, redemption, and the collision of divergent worlds. Yejide and Darwin’s meet unexpectedly within the ethereal confines of Fidelis delivering a rich narrative filled with poignant revelations, the embrace of unforeseen possibilities, and a gripping exploration of the complexities of fate.

Never Met A Duke Like You, Amalie HowardTrinidad & Tobago

Lady Vesper Lyndhurst revels in beauty, wit, and popularity, adept at orchestrating love for others while shunning it for herself. Meanwhile, the Duke of Greydon reluctantly returns to England, facing financial ruin. Reunited with the vexing heiress next door, their shared disdain ignites an unexpected attraction.

An American Immigrant, by Johanna Rojas VannColombia

Johanna Rojas Vann’s heartwarming debut novel, unfolds a tale of self-discovery and familial connection. Miami journalist Melanie Carvajal, aiming to revive her career, ventures to her mother’s homeland, Colombia, for an assignment. Her journey goes beyond professional prospects; it’s a personal odyssey to understand her heritage and reconcile with her estranged relationship with her mother. An American Immigrant, inspired by real-life events, resonates with themes of identity, familial bonds, and the power of embracing one’s roots.

Wildblood, by Lauren BlackwoodJamaica

In Lauren Blackwood’s compelling fantasy “Wildblood,” eighteen-year-old Victoria, a powerful Wildblood coerced into guiding tourists through a perilous Jamaican jungle, faces her greatest challenge yet. Denied a deserved leadership role due to her past and her ex’s manipulation, she confronts new client Thorn, a charming goldminer. Despite initial differences, mutual respect blossoms into an unexpected romance. As Victoria navigates treacherous spirits, dangerous foes, and personal turmoil, she must confront her desires, her loyalty to a corrupt company, and ultimately decide where her true path lies.

The Mother Island, Dr. Jacinth Howard- St. Vincent and the Grenadines

“The Mother Island” delves into prevalent women’s issues across four sections, touching on abuse, suppression, fatigue, health struggles, grief, isolation, and challenges. Simultaneously, it delves into life’s essence, evolution, and the Caribbean’s natural environment, interwoven with Anglophone Caribbean history and dialect. It tackles societal norms imposed on Caribbean women, aiming to guide them through these complexities. The journey preserves traditional and unconventional wisdom through varied experiences, presenting a diverse spectrum of womanhood and humanity in the West Indies. Through polyvocal narratives, it illuminates multifaceted encounters, echoing the complexities of life and femininity in the region.

Windward Family, by Alexis Keir- St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Returning to Saint Vincent two decades later, Alexis Keir seeks to unearth buried memories and reconnect with his past. Yet, lingering childhood wounds from separation haunt him. Embraced by his Caribbean kin, Alexis embarks on a journey of discovery, sifting through diaries, articles, and faded photos. His quest unveils narratives of exploitation, resilience, and courage among those who left their homeland.

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