Cover image for A thirst for rain
A thirst for rain
Carrington, Roslyn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington, [1999]

Physical Description:
200 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Cataloged from uncorrected proof.
Geographic Term:
Format :


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In a novel set against the backdrop of the island of Trinidad, a group of men and women struggles to make a living for themselves side by side in the communal yard of a small hillside neighborhood, where lives are fated to become intertwined.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Carrington, a native of Trinidad, tells an engaging story of island life. Far from the tourists, in a small communal yard during a long, hot dry spell, emotions are pushing to the surface. Myra, a single mother raising a teenage daughter and caring for her mentally ill father, is pregnant by her philandering boyfriend. Unsure as to how she will make ends meet, she keeps the pregnancy a secret. Unknown to Myra, her daughter, Odile, is also pregnant. Feeling neglected, Odile skips school and hangs out with Rory, the younger boy next door who has a crush on her. In the meantime, Myra is spending time with Jacob, a neighbor in the yard, whose stories of his past as a stickfighter enchant her. All the while the heavens refuse to rain. But when the rain comes, it comes quickly and violently, bringing with it a flood of pent-up emotions that are manifested in equally violent and surprising ways. Carrington has great command of the pace, and the last 50 pages will not disappoint. --Carolyn Kubisz

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in the author's native Trinidad and unfolding over the course of the worst dry season in years, this heartfelt debut swells with a host of fevered entanglements. A house divided into residences for four families, with a communal courtyard, functions as the stage for encounters between six prototypically Caribbean characters. Independent and sensual Myra is a dockside foodseller and single mother to Odile, a responsible teenage girl who excels at her studies. Myra's father, Sebastian, is the town madman, strolling the streets with a pram full of trinkets. Then there is Rory, an angst-ridden young man who harbors a crush on Odile, and Slim, Myra's slick, no-good lover. When Myra finds out she is carrying Slim's child, she refuses the abortion he demands. Meanwhile, Jacob, once a champion stickfighter and now a humble cobbler with a crippled left leg, yearns to reach out to Myra, but fears rejection. A tender love develops slowly between them, but meanwhile Odile is suffering through her own unanticipated pregnancy, abandoning school and spending her days brooding at a nearby river. Rory follows her surreptitiously until one night, as the drought-stricken village is finally doused with torrential rains, his hidden love is transformed into violent, tragic passion. On occasion Carrington's similes miss their mark ("Her eyes were like fried eggs"; "She was smiling like a banana") and her rendition of island patois is uneven. But short chapters move the narrative briskly, and the intense evocation of island life makes this a worthy addition to Caribbean fiction collections. However, North American readers may find the female characters frustratingly Faulknerian in their fatalistic attitudes toward their romantic lives. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

First novelist Carrington here explores human relations, using as her microcosm a courtyard shared by four families in northern Trinidad during drought season. The main characters include Jacob, a former stickfighter maimed in an accident who lives on disability and repairs shoes; the beautiful, 35-year-old Myra, who prepares and sells Creole food and is pregnant by her worthless boyfriend, Slim; Myra's illegitimate daughter, the studious, 17-year-old Odile, who is also pregnant; Rory, a 14-year-old who lives with his abusive father and likes Odile; Sebastian, Myra's senile father; and Jillian, a young wife who appears to be content with her life. Despite suffering physically, economically, and emotionally, these people all find ways to survive and even to grow, each in a different way. Some even find respite and resolution when the rains finally come. Recommended.ÄEllen R. Cohen, Rockville, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.