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A sparkling, witty and confident debut from a rising Canadian star whose Trinidadian roots and riotous storytelling heritage inform her completely delightful novel. It is 1974 in the town of Penal, Trinidad--home to a colourful cast of cane farmers, rum-drinkers, scandal-mongers . . . and a bright 18-year-old schoolgirl named Vimla Narine. After passing her A-levels with extraordinary results and accepting the coveted teaching post at Saraswati Hindu school, Vimla is caught with the village pundit's son, Krishna Govind. At night. Holding hands. By morning, even the village vagrant has heard the news and the Govinds and Narines find themselves at the heart of Penal's most delicious disgrace since a woman chased her cheating husband from the district with a rolling pin. Very quickly, Vimla's teaching post is rescinded, her mother goes on strike from everything, her father seeks solace in the rum shop and Vimla is confined to her home. While Vimla waits for Krishna to rescue her, Krishna's father exiles his boy to Tobago with a suitcase of Hindu scriptures and a command: Krishna will become a man of God. It is his duty. Just when Vimla thinks her fate couldn't be worse, her best friend, Minty, brings word that Krishna has become betrothed to the beautiful Chalisa Shankar of Tobago. And Chalisa wants to meet Vimla. Together, Vimla and Minty devise a scheme to win Krishna back that involves blackmailing a neighbour, conspiring with Chalisa, secret trysts in cane fields--and unearthing surprising truths that could change Vimla's, Krishna's and Chalisa's lives forever.
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