West Indies, 1950s: Celia's mother died bringing her into the world - when one soul flies in, another flies out, her Aunt Tassi says. So she lives in Black Rock, Tobago with her two cousins and Roman, her step-uncle - a man so sly he could crawl under a snake's belly on stilts. She longs to escape village life. One afternoon, when Celia is just 16 years old, Roman comes home drunk and abuses her, and she runs away to Trinidad to find her Aunt Sula. We follow Celia as she moves from village to bustling city, sickness to health, from niece to daughter to orphan, from abused or used and from being passionately in love for the first time to heartbreak.
Amanda Smyth is Irish/Trinidadian. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2000. Her short stories have been published in New Writing, London Magazine, and broadcast on Radio 4 as part of a series called Love and Loss. Amanda was awarded an Arts Council Grant for her first novel, Black Rock.