St Kitts and Nevis: Love or Status

There is something about Caribbean books that makes them different from the literature elsewhere. The problems and desires are the same, but the pace of life is different. People have come and gone to these islands, and they have all left something behind, both good and bad. Only God Can Make a Tree by Bertram Roach gives a point of view of Caribbean life.

The book is about Adrian, the offspring of a black Caribbean mother and a white Irish father. Because he looks a bit different from the rest of his peers, he can more easily move around in the circles of this hierarchical country. He falls in love, but if he chooses another woman, he could get an even better social standing. The choice he makes will not only affect his own life, but the people around him as well. Will he choose the local girl, the love of his life, or the daughter of his boss?

The book is short, which I have noticed to be a trend in the Caribbean literature. The book takes off slowly, only gets going a bit later on, and naturally ends quite quickly. It is an easy to read book, maybe not the greatest literature out there, but it gives an interesting insight to how life was on the islands in the twentieth century.

What makes the book interesting is that the setting is so idyllic and exotic. The insights of life in the West Indies are always fascinating, but otherwise the book is quite easily forgettable. When a book is less than 150 pages I always expect something, a lesson to learn or a remarkable event. There was in the end nothing like this. It is a fast and easy read, so not a bad choice for someone who would like to know what life was back then in St Kitts and Nevis

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