A Kind of Eden. A sort of hell.
About the book
Martin Rawlinson is a stranger in a strange land, an Englishman in Trinidad, and he is relishing it. He has asked for his temporary consultancy position with the Trinidad police to be made permanent, and is hoping to start a new life with the beautiful Safiya, and perhaps grow to understand this intoxicating, troubled country. His only problem is breaking the news to his wife, Miriam, and daughter, Georgia. While Martin has found a new life in the Caribbean, Miriam counts down the months to his return, aware of, but not understanding, the growing distance between them. She and Georgia escape the English winter to visit Martin, and - Miriam hopes - to reclaim him. The week that follows will change everything, but not in the way any of them planned: they will learn how close paradise is to hell. A mesmerising, claustrophobic novel that illustrates how fragile the ties that bind can be, Amanda Smyth immerses us in a moral dilemma with no answer - how can you forgive yourself for compromising what you love most?
A Kind of Eden is plotted like a thriller and reads like literature of the highest quality. Amanda Smyth shows how easy it is for a white foreign man to get lost in a small intensely mixed society, a society men like him once had a hand in creating. Every page in this novel feels eerie and uncomfortable - it touches on difficult truths about love, sex and crime in the twenty-first century Caribbean
Praise for Black Rock:'Brilliant... It was so atmospheric, I had to read it in one sitting
A tremendously compelling novel. The West Indies may look like an advertisement for paradise, but it is only tourists who call it a paradise. Amanda Smyth opens a window onto the problems faced by Trinidad, and combines a knuckle-whitening thriller with a thoughtful meditation on exile, homeland and belonging. Pages of great lyric beauty combine with a deadly accuracy of phrase and observation; Smyth is a gifted writer and we are lucky to have her.
Amanda Smyth is a hugely talented storyteller. In A Kind of Eden, she has written an exquisite novel of fear, loss and acceptance. With Trinidad and Tobago as the setting, the prose is sometimes luscious and exotic; sometimes stark and, almost, unbearably tense. The whole thing ripples with beauty and menace as Smyth draws us deeper into the complex lives of her characters. What begins as the tale of a man in mid-life crisis, ends up packing a shocking and sinister punch.
On the very first page the quality of the writing grabbed me, and I spent the whole day reading it with the greatest pleasure. A novel really does have to be the real thing to do that to me, and this is