Throwing into suitcases all she brought with her on this Caribbean cruise, Avey Johnson knows she has to go home. She wonders why she has been dreaming of her childhood, of the months of August spent on a small island with her great-aunt. Were these dreams of the Shout Ring and her great-aunt's stories of the slave ships from Africa causing the knots in Avey's stomach? Then, forced to wait overnight in Grenada for the plane home, Avey loses herself in memories of her marriage. It had been a "successful" marriage, taking her from Harlem to Brooklyn to White Plains, New York. But now she feels that her and her late husband's financial gains were made at the cost of their history and passion for life. The next morning, as she walks on the beach in a dream-like trance, emotionally drained from her night of memories, she encounters a man about to leave on his annual trip to his native island of Carriacou. His dancing the Juba dance triggers Avey's memories, and she is talked into going with him. On Carriacou, sixty-five-year-old Avey touches again the feelings of her family, her heritage, and comes to understand, in new ways, traditions she has long forgotten and the importance of knowing - and remembering - her past. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14
. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
About the Author
Paule Mashall is the author of Brown Girl, Brownstones, The Chosen Place, The Timeless People, Praisesong for the Widow, Soul Clap Hands and Sing, Reena and Other Stories, and Daughters. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she is now Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.