Pairing Caribbean wounds with the grievances of political Islam, this intriguing novel begins as a sad story of unrequited love on a Guyanese sugar estate that descends into the obsessive world of stalking and the temptations of Jihad.
Told through the eyes of Albert Aziz, a Guyanese Indian Muslim, the story opens with his boyhood memory of falling from a tree and being badly injured, after which he develops a compelling attraction to a young Chinese girl, Alice Wong, who lives on the same sugar estate. Now, years later, Aziz is a highly paid engineer in the Canadian nuclear industry. Although he has a new and prosperous life, he still nurtures racial resentments about the way he was treated as a child and has become a supporter of radical Islam. He also begins to fixate again on Alice and tracks her down. He finds that she is divorced and living in England and asks her to marry him.
Though Aziz is telling the story, it is clear that Alice’s apprehension is slowly mounting as she fears the consequences of what might happen if she turns him down.
Jan Lowe Shinebourne was born in Guyana and now lives in Sussex, U.K. She is writing her fourth work, a family saga spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; set in China, Europe and the Caribbean.