Swinburne Lestrade recently reviewed Alick Lazare’s Kalinago Blood, a novel based on historical accounts of the genocide of the Kalinago people (Abbott Press). [Also see previous post New Books: Alick Lazare’s Kalinago Blood.] Here are excerpts with a link to the full review below:
[. . .] Captain Thomas Warner, an English adventurer, and his crew find themselves stranded on the shores of St Kitts, where they are rescued by the Kalinago. Relations are peaceful enough at first, until Warner and his crew encroach on Kalinago lands. The Kalinago plan to attack and kill them all; but Barbe, Chief Tegremente’s Igneri captive, warns Warner that he and his crew are in danger. Warner makes a preemptive strike and destroys the natives. He takes the beautiful Igneri into his home and they have a son nicknamed Indian, (“Indian Warner”.)
Thomas Warner is later made governor of the colony of St Kitts and marries an English aristocrat by whom he fathers another son. In this triangular relationship, the past violence of Warner’s actions robs his family of peace, and his guilt is carried along by his younger “lawful” son, Philip. Barbe and her “half-breed” son are driven out of St Kitts to find refuge in the hills of Dominica where Indian soon becomes leader of the Kalinago. In the end, brother is pitted against brother in a bloody conflict that wipes out an entire native tribe.
Told through the eyes of Barbe decades later, this is a story of love, jealousy and betrayal, violence and racial abuse. It tells of the overwhelming desire by European invaders to control and mutilate what was best in the unspoiled world of the native people of the Caribbean.
[. . .] This historical novel by Alick Lazare will be of interest to a wide array of persons, including those interested in West Indian history (including the early history of St Kitts and Dominica), lovers of novels and the general reader. It is a gripping portrayal of the spirit, manners and social conditions of 17th Century Caribbean islands and is written with realistic detail and fidelity. It is an easy, pleasant and compelling read.