If you’re old enough to remember Ronald Reagan’s presidency, you’re likely to recall when the United States invaded the Caribbean island country of Grenada. The war lasted only a few days before the U.S. declared victory, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything in the news about Grenada since.
With that as my only frame of reference, I was looking forward to learning more about Grenada for this blog post. I was very happy to find a Grenadian author who had written a thriller, which is my favorite literary genre. The Bone Readers, by Jacob Ross, is set on the fictional island of Camaho, which appears to be very much like Grenada. In fact, the book’s narrator talks about how the two hundred square miles of island territory had been enough “to frighten the hell out of Ronald Reagan in my mother’s time; enough to have him put an aircraft carrier on our horizon and launch Blackhawk helicopter gunships and F-16 bombers to pound us into the sea.”
But The Bone Readers isn’t about Grenada’s war with the United States. It’s about a young boy, the illegitimate son of the police commissioner and his servant, who grows up to become a police detective himself. Michael “Digger” Digson, a recent high school graduate with no prospects, witnesses a murder, and his powers of observation help the police identify almost all the killers. He is offered a job by the detective superintendent, which he accepts in spite of his negative view of the police.
One reason Digger agrees to go to work as a police detective is to try to uncover the truth of his mother’s death. She left the house when Digger was eight years old to attend a rally protesting the rape and murder of a schoolgirl by the son of a high-ranking official. During the protest, an order was given for the police to shoot into the crowd, and Digger’s mother was killed. However, her body was never recovered.
While Digger’s mother’s case is always on his mind, the plot centers around a cold case of a young man who disappeared a few years previously. Investigating the case leads Digger and Miss K. Stanislaus, who has been brought in to help, into dangers they couldn’t have predicted.
The Bone Readers kept me interested and entertained. If I have one complaint, it’s that the author’s use of the local patois made the dialogue a little hard to interpret from time to time. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book. A press release from the publisher says that The Bone Reader is the first book in the author’s Camaho Quartet. The other three don’t appear to have been written yet, but when they come out, I’ll be eager to read them.
I’m afraid Grenada got short-changed in the cooking portion of this post. I had wanted to make potato pone, a type of sweet potato pudding that was mentioned a couple of times in The Bone Readers, but the recipe called for an ingredient I couldn’t find. I have family coming for a visit this week, and I really wanted to get this blog done before they arrive, since I won’t be doing any blogging while they’re here. So I just started looking for the easiest Grenadian recipe I could find.
What I found was a recipe on the Simple Grenadian Cooking website for fried plantains with only two ingredients – oil and plantains. These tasty little morsels couldn’t have been any easier to make, and they were a delicious little snack.
There are no projects listed for Grenada at GlobalGiving.org, so I searched the Internet and found PLAN!T Now, which “encourages people and communities to access the tools they need before severe weather strikes to reduce the loss of life and destruction caused by storms.”
This organization was originally formed as the Grenada Relief Fund after the island was devastated in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan. By focusing on preparedness, PLAN!T NOW hopes to mitigate the effects of future storms. More information about this organization is available at http://www.planitnow.org/.
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