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Black Rock Paperback – 26 Feb 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Paperback, 26 Feb 2009
£8.59 £0.01
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (26 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846686962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686962
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,550,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Amanda Smyth writes like a descendant of Jean Rhys. Black Rock is a powerful cocktail of heat and beautiful coolness, written in a heady, mesmerising yet translucent prose which marks Smyth out as a born novelist (Ali Smith)

A lovely piece of storytelling (Waterstone's Books Quarterly 2009-02-01)

A beautifully written story of her journey into adulthood. Tropical landscape, realistic dialogue and a strong plotline make this debut a winner (Jennifer Ryan Image Magazine 2009-03-01)

Her writing is as lushly beautiful as the landscape she describes - it's the kind of novel that leaves your head filled with gorgeous pictures (Kate Saunders The Times 2009-02-21)

A beautiful, lyrical novel (Patrick Freyne Sunday Tribune 2009-03-08)

A captivating read (Aisling Foster Irish Times 2009-03-07)

A stunning debut novel (Anna Carey The Gloss 2009-03-01)

Certain novels are alive with colour. Written in lush, lyrical language evocative of its tropical setting, Amanda Smyth's Black Rock is awash with bougainvillea, parakeets, blue crabs, manicous, rum, coconuts and obeah folk magic. Celia is its narrator, a teenage orphan who lives with her aunt and cousins on the island of Tobago in the 1950s.Despite the sensorial intoxication of the setting, though, her sorry tale is one of feminine and racial subjugation... Smyth's debut is an absorbing and morally complex read with a bittersweet twist at the end (Melissa McClements Financial Times 2009-03-21)

Black Rock explores the extent to which one can - and ought - to wriggle free from family ties... Smyth is a skilful ventriloquist; the local patois is energetically conjured, and the narrative pace is gripping.
In painterly images, Smyth evocatively shows more than she tells. Not only people but place exerts a powerful force...There are echoes of the archetypal "mad woman", if not in an attic then in a marital room in the Caribbean, with scenes reminiscent of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea... this is a vivid and compelling story, exploring the extent of our control over our destinies

(Anita Sethi Independent 2009-03-27)

On her recovery, she goes to work for the kindly doctor who tended to her. He is unhappily married and, before long, makes a pass at Celia.She is a damaged but irresistible heroine, and her inability to refuse him raises much readerly sympathy... Smyth's story is a powerful, authentic one and Celia is an appealing, earthy, yet spiritual heroine who grows, wounded and embattled, through the course of the book. (Lesley McDowell Independent on Sunday 2009-03-22)


`A powerful cocktail of heat and beautiful coolness' - Ali Smith

'Smyth's story is a powerful, authentic one and Celia is an appealing, earthy, yet spiritual heroine' - Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

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