Saturday 31 March 2012

In The Trees by Pauline Fisk review by Lynda Waterhouse

This is a wonderful story written with a lightness of touch that belies the profound themes that it contains. Race, class, the environment, absent fathers, the ethics of the gap year, even a touch of spirituality and mysticism is thrown into the mix of the story of South London lad, Kid Cato, as he journeys from boyhood to manhood.

The story begins with the arrival of a cardboard box containing his mother’s belongings where amongst the broken down electrical goods he finds a battered hat, a wedding photograph and his birth certificate which states that his father’s place of residence is a country that he has never heard of. A place called Belize.

The minute he steps off the plane he smells the earthy and spicy smell of the trees and he finds himself vulnerable and alone. He truly is an innocent abroad and I felt genuinely scared for him as he navigated the maze of those people who were trying to part him from his money and those who were kind and concerned for him. His stay at the Night Falls Lodge was a terrifying experience.

In the jungle he meets up with a group of gap year students and at first dismisses them as a bunch of over-privileged do-gooders. Cato is particularly irritated by farmer’s boy Hal. The development of their relationship was one of the most powerful descriptions of the dynamics of hatred and male friendship that I have ever read.

Cato spends some time volunteering in a place called Blue Bank Springs where he learns to appreciate the value and the fragility of community and family. He meets and falls in love with a young woman called Renata. He even encounters a grey haired author on his travels!

His father finally tracks him down and there is an exquisitely written and painful sequence where Cato spends a night out with him.

‘Under the shade I flourish’ is the National Motto of Belize but I hope that this brilliant and moving novel finds its true place in the sun.

In the Trees is published by Faber and Faber



Rosalie Warren said...

It sounds like a fascinating book and the cover alone makes me want to buy it.

Cassie Bailey said...

Hello I'm so happy sharing this, I still can’t thank you enough powerful Priest Elijah, My husband left for a younger lady because i was unable to give birth due to PCOS,I was so devastated i was lonely i cried a lot i even tried taking my life, Then my friend told me about this great man Priest Elijah who helped her made her marriage perfect, I also went online and did more research about him i was not too sure but i decided to give him a try he told me not to worry everything was going to be alright, He told me all i needed to pay which was a convenient fee and i did and he did his work and sent me video proof and told me to wait 24hrs that he will be back, The next morning to my greatest surprise it was Shawn my husband on his knees begging I'm so happy, It didn’t stop there, I'm proud to say that I'm 3 weeks pregnant thank you so much Priest Elijah I'm forever grateful contact him

WhatsApp him +2347054380994

Post a Comment