Crossing the Mangrove
In this beautifully crafted, Rashomon-like novel, Maryse Conde has written a gripping story imbued with all the nuances and traditions of Caribbean culture. Francis Sancher--a handsome outsider, loved by some and reviled by others--is found dead, face down in the mud on a path outside Riviere au Sel, a small village in Guadeloupe. None of the villagers are particularly surprised, since Sancher, a secretive and melancholy man, had often predicted an unnatural death for himself. As the villagers come to pay their respects they each--either in a speech to the mourners, or in an internal monologue--reveal another piece of the mystery behind Sancher's life and death. Like pieces of an elaborate puzzle, their memories interlock to create a rich and intriguing portrait of a man and a community. In the lush and vivid prose for which she has become famous, Conde has constructed a Guadeloupean wake for Francis Sancher. Retaining the full color and vibrance of Conde's homeland, Crossing the Mangrove pays homage to Guadeloupe in both subject and structure
"Conde writes elegantly in a style that beautifully survives translation from the French...[she] gives readers a flavor of the French and Creole stew that is the Guadeloupan tongue. In so doing, Conde conveys the many subtle distinctions of color, class, and language that made up this society".-- "Chicago Tribune"
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - cameling - LibraryThing
Do we really know who our neighbors are, who our friends are, what thoughts they keep to themselves, not to be shared with even their own family members? Francis Sancher is found dead in the mud along ... Read full review
CROSSING THE MANGROVEUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
A drifting, evocative story about a mystery man who brings unsettling change to a village in Guadeloupe. CondÇ (Tree of Life, 1992, etc.) begins with the death of the handsome stranger, Francis ... Read full review