This remarkably skillful story of the sad-sweet end of childhood as it overtakes a fifteen-year-old boy from Trinidad has the gentle prelude and final devastation of a tropical storm. Shellie, adoring his seriously ill father, enjoying the soft grace of girls, the lively companionship of boy friends around the village, becomes acquainted with kind Mr. Gidharee notable for his four huge dogs that accompany him to his cocoa fields and for fathering the cute little ""dougla"" girl (half Indian half Negro) Rosalie. Rosalie arouses Shellie's first real tugs of sentiment and desire, but there is also Joan, from another village. When Shellie's father returns from the hospital, and Joan visits, and Shellie makes his first proposal, it is a happy time. But Shellie and Rosalie had gone too far (""I asked myself why...I was so crazy""), and the terrible events bear down--his father's death, the knowledge of what Mr. Gidharee must know, and finally the attack of his monstrous dogs....A third novel by an author of growing reputation, this is a haunting, exotic, startlingly relevant tale.