From Library Journal
Already a best-selling award winner in France, Conde's ( I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem , LJ 7/92) novel now debuts in its English translation. This multigenerational story tells of one Guadeloupe family's struggle against poverty and racism. The family achieves wealth, but the dream of equality eludes generation after generation and leaves its dreamers broken and withdrawn. A contemporary descendant, Coco, narrates the story, which moves from Guadeloupe to Harlem and Paris against the historical backdrops of the construction of the Panama Canal and the deaths of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. True to the manner of Caribbean storytelling, the spirits of the deceased continue to haunt and influence the living, but Coco finally comes to terms with her family's past and her identity. Of interest to general readers as well as students of Caribbean literature.