Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Swinging Bridge - Ramabai Espinet

The Basics: The Swinging Bridge, Ramabai Espinet, 2003, 305 pages, paperback, Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean Region)

How I Found it: I really don't remember. I think it might have been recommended on the Halifax library website.

What's it about?: Mona, the protagonist, is a woman of Indian descent, who grew up in the Indian community in Trinidad, then moved to Canada with her family as a teenager. The novel takes place in Mona's 30s as she reflects on her childhood in Trinidad and her relationships with her family. Reconciling the events of the past and discussing them with her family, even though it is difficult, is especially important because her older brother is near death.

Did I like it?: I didn't love this book, but it was good. The author writes very well, and at times is almost poetic. She has a gift for description - she makes the reader feel that she is actually in Trinidad. Before reading this book I didn't really know anything about Trinidad, and the Indian community there, so I learned a lot.

But don't take my word for it: The usual industry and reader reviews from Amazon, a review from Seneca College Quarterly, some info on the author from Literature Alive (a Canadian-Caribbean Literature website), a review from Now Toronto, one from blog alice, and one from Canadian Literature, a quarterly journal.

1 comment:

  1. thx so much for the links to the other reviews ;) really helpful. i've this novel for my MA 2nd year exams next mth.

    warmth+love from Bombay, India