“Under the Zaboca Tree” by Glynis Guevara

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Today, the Caribbean Books Foundation featured Glynis Guevara’s Under the Zaboca Tree, a coming of age story set in Trinidad.

Under the Zaboca Tree is a contemporary coming of age novel that explores multiple issues including the challenges of being a motherless adolescent, searching for one’s identity, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the ability to adapt to difficult situations.

At ten, Melody Sparks, better known as Baby Girl, is excited to move to the tropical island of Trinidad with her single-parent dad, but she silently longs for her mother, a woman she can’t recall ever meeting and doesn’t have a photo of. She fits in to her new life in Paradise Lane quite well: she loves her school and makes new friends. However, her longing for blood family remains strong. But Baby Girl is suddenly and unexpectedly uprooted from her comfortable life in Paradise Lane and forced to reside in Flat Hill Village, a depressed, crime-ridden community. She struggles to adjust to life in this village with the help of new friends, Arlie, a village activist and Colm, a young man who mentors her to write poetry. When Baby Girl witnesses a serious crime, her father insists she move in with relatives she doesn’t know very well, where she ultimately uncovers the truth about her mother.

Glynis Guevara was born in Barataria, Trinidad. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) degree from the University of London, England, and is a graduate of Humber School for Writers creative writing program. She was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary short fiction prize in 2012 and was also a finalist for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean literature in 2014. She currently lives in Toronto where she works as an adult literacy and ESL instructor.

For more information, see http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/books/under-the-zaboca-tree/

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