Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange
Crown, Jun 30 2009, $14.00
In Black Rock, Tobago, half-breed Celia D'Abadie’s mom died giving birth to her while her absentee Caucasian father deserted her to return to his home in Southampton, England. Her maternal Aunt Tassi raises her lovingly. Everything is great until Tassi marries Roman. He is abusive and ever leering and stalking Celia. When she is sixteen, her uncle rapes her.
Celia flees her home for Trinidad where she meets William Shamiel. He and his family take the teen into their home. She obtains work as a maid to the family of Dr. Emmanuel Rodriguez. His English wife Helen is mentally on the verge of collapse as everything sends her to hysteria while his two kids are precocious when mom is not around. However, the move to Port of Spain that starts off uplifting soon turns ugly too for Celia.
Celia and the locale of Trinidad-Tobago refresh the often told tale of a naive young country bumpkin forced to come of age rather quickly in the city. The teen’s adventures on both islands bring them to life for the reader as Amanda Smyth escorts her audience beyond the tourist sections to the heart of the islands. Celia is terrific as a hybrid who has always felt like an outsider with no protector from male predators though her aunt tries somewhat. Though the plot is somewhat thin, fans will enjoy Celia’s quest to find a place where she feels she can sleep at night safe and secure and as important to her well being knows where she belongs in life.