The Polished Hoe
When Mary-Mathilda, one of the most respected women of the island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados) calls the police to confess to a crime, the result is a shattering all-night vigil that brings together elements of the island's African past and the tragic legacy of colonialism in one epic sweep.
Set in the West Indies in the period following World War II, The Polished H...more
The novel itself is a difficult read, with current speaker and point of view often becoming ve...more
A story of loyalties and b...more
I have read the book twice now - the first time too fast because I so wanted to know what the answer was to the question posed - and you wait right to the very, very end for that...more
The story itself takes place in 24 hours, but it is the story of someone telling a story, so it really is the story of her life. And a lot of history of plantations in Barbados. Not a good life, especially for the...more
Recommended for long, leisurely reads (like on a trans - continental train) as this requires some effort to get to the end. About half way through I started to find some of the stories repetitive, and to wonder if the plot would ever reach a final point or conclusion. I actually took a...more
New, aspiring writers are frequently told to show instead of telling, which is a great technique of engaging the reader into the story. One of...more
It's about the exploitation of black people in the plantation system of the West Indies in the 1940's. The prose is beautiful but I found it slow moving.
There were no redeeming characters in my opinion. I did not like not having any chapters...one idea just lead to the next throughout the entire book.
I will not recommend this book.
Clarke had his early education in Barbados and taught at a rural school for three years. In 1955 he moved to Canada to attend the University of Toronto but after two years turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. H...more