Wedding bells ring for Jamaican bartender Shadrack Myers (The Sea Grape Tree, 2014, etc.). Or do they?
Now that Shad’s old teacher, Miss Mac MacKenzie, has finally sold her beachfront acreage to the corporation founded by Shad, Kingston contractor Lambert Delgado, and Shad’s friend and partner Eric Keller, former owner of the defunct Largo Bay Inn, plans are moving forward briskly for the groundbreaking of the new Largo Bay Grant Hotel. The only fly in the ointment is that Eric is suddenly being squeezed between lovers new and old. His departed American girlfriend, Simone Hall, plans to return to the island and the lover who helped her heal (The Goat Woman of Largo Bay, 2011). At the same time, Shannon, the Canadian photographer who bore Eric’s daughter 12 years ago, also plans to return to Jamaica, ostensibly to take pictures for an article in Culture but actually to search for clues in the mystery of dancer Katlyn Carrington, who disappeared into the Rastafarian community back in 1977 and whose death was reported shortly afterward. Katlyn’s friend Angie, the editor of Culture, has never gotten the straight story about what happened, and this may be her last chance to get the truth. Shannon’s quest gives her an excuse to ask lots of questions about Rastafarianism, providing evenhanded cultural commentary that takes the place of the clues a more mystery-minded author might supply. As Eric struggles to connect with Eve, the daughter he’s never known, and puzzles over whether he belongs with Shannon or Simone, Shad’s own nuptials bear down on him.
Less mystery than soap opera and less soap opera than chronicle of life-cycle events that cross national, cultural, and generational borders.