This was a difficult novel for many of our group and many of them did not enjoy it. Some found the voodoo aspect disturbing and they thought the child’s voice was not very believable. The isolation, the struggle to make ends meet and the harshness of the lives of the characters was well portrayed and most of the group enjoyed the descriptive passages when we learned about the culture and heritage. Although the book was not an easy read it provoked a good discussion about a naive society and lives destroyed by cruelty and few of the group could foresee the twist in the plot. We thought that the author was saying that ultimately the mythology of magic would more easily explain mental illness for the characters rather than them facing up to the horrors and tragedy of their lives.
Wheatley Arms, Ben Rhydding
Reading Group Host