Lauren Francis-Sharma | Trinidad and Tobago
Marcia Garcia is carrying a heavy secret, one that alters her marriage, the lives of her children, and affects the relationships they have as a family and with others. Farouk Karam, her husband, is scared to tell his wealthy family he’s in love with Marcia, a poor girl of mixed background from the seaside village of Blanchisseuse (Blan-she-shez). When de mark buss—as we say—his family disowns him. But worst of all he and Marcia begin their marriage on distrust and betrayal and spend the rest of the book in an on-again off-again relationship. But there are way more situations that arise to haunt and terrorize the family. From obeah women to drug lords to neglect, scorn, disappointment, and intimidation.
Francis-Sharma has done an interesting job setting this story at a time when Trinidad is still a British colony on the cusp of independence. Marcia’s uncle is running in opposition to Dr Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister, and he’s doing everything in his power to manipulate and intimidate Marcia into keeping the secret that would destroy his election chances.
But the book goes deeper than this and can feel like too much is happening. There are so many broken relationships that at times it’s difficult to read, because you’re just hoping someone will get it together and defy societal norms. There’s glimpses of sexism, homosexuality, racism, immigration, and young love. And I absolutely love that Francis-Sharma uses old time calypso titles to label book sections!
Admittedly this book is emotionally heavy. At times it feels like things are going to just capsize for everyone. Francis-Sharma’s writing is sophisticated, the plot clever—though loaded—and she successfully taps into her characters’ emotions so each is distinct.
For more insight on ‘Til the Well Runs Dry, read my conversation with Lauren Francis-Sharma.
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