by Larry Smith
Garth Buckner recently sent me an advance copy of his new novel (Thine is the Kingdom, Ravenna Press, 2008). But since part of Tough Call's day job is the distribution of Bahamian books (or more accurately, books on Bahamian-related subjects), I did not feel able to offer an exclusive review in this space. So I picked a selection of books at random to give readers a few ideas for holiday reading (a complete list can be found at www.bahamasmedia.com).
Buckner's 235-page novel opens with a real slice of island life - this particular island, in fact, and this particular life. A comical traffic confrontation with a boat trailer at the infamous Montagu ramp, where our hero is regarded as an undesirable interloper by white and black Bahamians alike.
We soon learn precisely why he deserved such derision. His father was an American expat who married a white Bahamian. Ergo, our hero was never afforded the luxuries of Bahamian citizenship.
As he explains: "I fancy people of the government ilk got great satisfaction in seeing families like mine broken up. They liked to whittle down the numbers of those they fancied did not belong, those who opposed them politically. They saw no distinction between nationality and their nationalist party. Everyone else was suspect."