Celebrating literature from the Pacific Islands.
Introducing world stories with mana.
Reviewing stories related to all things "island", including village life, colonialism, sea-faring, myths and legends.
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.
The Counting House isn't a book set in the Pacific but it is an island book of sorts. I read this novel a few years ago and was shocked by it's frank account of greed, manipulation and sexual abuse. Set in the 19th century the story revolves around the marriage of Indian couple Rohini and Vidia who migrate to the Carribean to work on a plantation. They are poor peasants who believe their life in British Guiana will bring them wealth and success. Their marriage falters as they struggle to make a new life in a strange land.
The Counting House
As a group of characters I found everyone in the book repulsive. They all seemed obsessed with money and status. However Dabydeen has done a good job in depicting the characters' motivations and so I could understand their obsessions even if I couldn't sympathise with them. Issues of caste, slavery and racism are all dealt with in a confronting manner.
If you like a book with a bit of sex and violence, then maybe this is for you. But I found the subject matter a bit too grim for my liking.