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Poor in Trinidad, Poor in America

'Til the Well Runs Dry

Title: 'Til the Well Runs Dry
By: Lauren Francis-Sharma

Marcia Garcia is a talented but poor seamstress living in a small town in Trinidad. She falls for policeman Farouk Karam, and thus begins a fascinating yet troubling family saga told in the voices of Marcia, Farouk, and their second daughter, Jacqueline. I was reminded of T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain, in which everything that can go wrong, does. Threatened by a childhood secret, Marcia finally immigrates to the US and lands in even more trouble. I appreciated her cogent insights about American life and her strategies for surviving in New York City. "I was sure poor in Trinidad and poor in America had to be pretty much the same thing, except in Trinidad there was at least a low-hanging fruit that could keep somebody from starving."

You will want to know the definition of "cheups": it is a sucking noise made with the tongue pressed against the teeth, used by Caribbeans to express annoyance, frustration, or contempt. It would have been helpful to know this one word before I started reading.

Listen to some 1960’s calypso music by The Mighty Sparrow to create a background while you read, and check out some of the other songs used as section headings throughout the book.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction

Posted on Aug. 6, 2014 at midnight

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