Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 236 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in
Published: June 1, 2014
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1845232313
ISBN - 13: 9781845232313
From the Publisher
Her daughter Ruthie's easy ascent through school and university has
been Mrs. B's pride and joy for some time. But as the novel begins,
she and her husband Charles are on their way to the airport to
collect Ruthie, who has disgraced herself with a married man and a
suicide attempt, and is, as they will soon discover, pregnant.
Loosely inspired by Flaubert's Madame Bovary, the novel focuses on
the life of an upper-middle-class family in a contemporary Trinidad
that is turbulent with violence and popular dissatisfactions, in
response to which the family have retreated to a gated community.
Mrs. B (she hates the name of Butcher) is fast approaching 50, and
Ruthie's return and the state of her marriage provoke her to some
unaccustomed self-reflection. Much like Flaubert's heroine, Mrs.
B's longings are diffuse but bounded by the assumptions of her
social circle. And without ever losing sympathy for Mrs. B and her
family, the novel asks some tough questions about what resources
Mrs. B. can bring to her "issues" and how she can find meaning in
her life. And what of Ruthie? Can her greater openness to the
island challenge her easy acceptance of privilege? Behind both
women is the complex and fascinating figure of Aunt Claire, the
family's reader, who has provided the only real nurture in Mrs. B's
life. Can she do the same for Ruthie? But, then, how far does her
deep immersion in books really equip her for 21st-century
About the Author
Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is a senior lecturer
in French and Francophone literatures in the Department of Modern
Languages and Linguistics at the University of the West Indies-St.
Augustine. Her publications include Border Crossings: A
Trilingual Anthology of Caribbean Women Writers, coedited with
Nicole Roberts; Echoes of the Haitian Revolution
1804-2004; and Reinterpreting the Haitian Revolution and
Its Cultural Aftershocks (1804-2004), coedited with Martin