God of the Cocoa - Introduction

This is the first of my "Cocoa" novels.

God of the Cocoa is a historical family saga set on the island of Trinidad. It follows a large family through three generations. They are descendants of indentured Indians, who arrived in Trinidad from India during the end of the 19C, to work in the sugar cane fields. Because the island is British, and they are Hindus, with a different language, culture and religion, they struggle to retain their traditions. Furthermore, they are perceived alien by the locals, as they wear strange clothes and eat different food. Because of this like many other Indians, they live in the countryside, far away from the towns.

When Rajnath Kamalsingh married Latchmin, he was seventeen and she was twelve. The marriage was arranged by their parents according to Hindu tradition, and took place in Granville, a village in the far south of the island of Trinidad. Every one from the village was invited, and every tradition and custom was kept as much as was possible, with no expense spared. Latchmin was dressed lavishly in as much embroidered silk her father could find, and in as much finery he could afford. On that hot tropical day of the wedding, every bead of sweat on her forehead dripped with jewels, and every exposed part of her body, decorated in gold. With pride, Latchmin's parents dressed their twelve year old daughter in attire truly becoming a well-to-do Indian bride. From the crown of her head, right down to her saffron-soaked toes, which fitted snugly into the flashy Indian leather chappals, she was adorned with intricate jewellery pieces her father had made himself.

Their marriage is an arranged one and from then on, their battles begin, not just with external forces, but within the families, their own culture and customs, and with each other. How much of their difficulties should be attributed to their displacement? How much of it is their own doing? Like most, they face extreme poverty. Can they escape? If so how?

God of the Cocoa shows how a family goes through one difficult experience after another until things can get no worse when they lose their home after the hurricane of June 1933. But do they have the drive to escape? Who does and how?

The novel begins with a rollercoaster ride of difficulties, and then heads towards an uphill struggle, into an intriguing plot of twists and turns and hairpin bends right to the end. And even then it doesn't stop. Because there is another book to follow - Out of the Cocoa. And hopefully another!

MYR  1/3/2010

Copyright Marilyn Rodwell 2010