Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange

Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange is the debut novel of Trinidad born author Amanda Smyth. It was published in England under the title, Black Rock. My first reaction reading this novel was that I love all the descriptive writing. Judging by the reviews I read in I’m not alone. One review describes it as “alive with color” and “awash with bougainvillea, parakeets, blue crabs…” I haven’t vacationed on an island since 1992, but so many things were jumping out at me. She mentions foods I recall eating such as cristophene and callaloo. She describes the vegetation such as the manchineel tree, something I recall being warned about. You never want to sit under one after it’s rained. Secretions can blister your skin and even cause blindness. But all is not rosy in this tropical location. Born in Tobago young Celia D’Abadie’s mother died in childbirth. Her aunt Tassi said “when one soul flies in, another flies out”. She is told that her father, who has never acknowledged her lives in Southampton, England. Raised by her aunt and uncle, Celia’s life becomes a nightmare when she turns 16 and she is raped by her uncle. She flees the island and heads to Trinidad. Here she finds a job as a live in maid for a local doctor, his fragile wife and two young children. The doctor cared for her when Celia first came to Trinidad and was very ill. He is kind to her and they eventually develop an intimate relationship. I haven’t finished reading it, but I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope this isn’t the last of the novels we see by this new author. Enjoy.

One thought on “Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange

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  1. Thanks for recommending this book. Once I started it I didn’t want to put it down: it was such easy, enjoyable reading. All the way through, I kept thinking that this would be a wonderful novel for a Book Club.

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