As Carmen’s accusation suggests, this is a novel set at the cross-roads between the living and the dead – and the cemetery literally becomes the refuge of the orphaned children – between the harsh realities of the violence which spills over from an election campaign and a world where dreams, spirit possession and women who become snails are just as real. This, after all, is Jamaica where in Bob Marley’s words, ‘there’s a natural mystic flowing through the air.’ This is not a story of straight lines, for with those, Flamingo discovers, you miss the crossings.
With the smells of damp earth and Jamaica’s healing herbs, the sounds of the songs that weave through the narrative, and illustrated with photographs of the dolls, and the sketches Flamingo cannot stop herself from adding to her notebooks margins, this is a novel to delight all the senses.
Marcia Douglas was born in England and grew up in Jamaica. Currently she lives and works in Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of Madam Fate (Women’s Press) and a collection of poetry, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom (Peepal Tree Press).