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Bruised Hibiscus

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  10 reviews
When a fisherman pulls the body of a white woman from the sea onto the island of Trinidad, the assumed motivation for the murder is "man-woman business." As the news spreads, the rage that surfaces - born of generations of colonialism, sexual oppression, and class disparity - is the catalyst for the reunion of two childhood friends.

Rosa and Zuela were inseparable for the s
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 4th 2000 by Seal Press (first published 1994)
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Ryan Mishap
There are many books that contain gross amounts and kinds of violence against women, and for many of them, this is the main reason they were written and the main reason some people read them. There are other books, though, which contain enough shocking debasement and brutalisation of people--mainly wimmin--to match these but stand against the misogyny they describe. What's the difference? A book of fiction from a reality that doesn't deny a character their humanity; doesn't let go of compassion ...more
While I wasn't a total fan of Ms. Nunez's writing style, the story of Bruised Hibiscus was captivating. Although the story grabs you, it is certainly not a happy story. The reason I rated it so highly is because I can't hate characters so vehemently if the story is horrible. And, hate them I did. I found most of the characters just awful. Until the very end, there are very few redeeming traits in any of the characters and I found that awfully unbelievable. In a story with so many characters, I j ...more
This book personalizes the ugly racial struggle and hatred between "whites" and "coloreds---which includes Indians and Chinese" in Trinidad. Rosa and Zuela, the main characters, are appealing and represent more than just two aspects of the divide. The writing is spellbinding, though the author's message about the damage of inadequate mothering seems overly stressed, even though I tend to agree with it. The ending is both painfully sad and wonderfully happy.
Bronwyn Hegarty
I have just finished and what a read. The story is very black (not a pun) and weaves two womens' lives together around the murder of a woman washed up on a Trinidad beach. It deals with the sexual abuse that both Rosa and Zuela have experienced in their lives. Rosa while married to a black Trinidadian man and Zuela from when she was taken from her family by a Chinese immigrant when 11 years old. A riveting story from start to finish.
The story itself is well done and interesting but the writing style is very difficult. Two themes in the book are opium addiction and the incomplete understanding a child has of adult affairs. Pretty much all the prose comes across as under the fog of one of these states. It's fine to give a sense of what that's like, but not to the point of confusing your reader so much they can't figure out what is happening.
Ms. Nunez's prose was of course beautiful and she creates a vivid picture of her native Trinidad that makes me want more... However, I couldn't give it 5 stars because I hated, hated, hated the ending. I almost stopped reading after chapter 19. I know the world can sometimes be a brutal and dangerous place for young women but this just felt a bit gratuitous to me.
Read this for Caribbean Romances. Nunez's writing is magnificently beautiful but not cheesy. This is not a love story, in case you think that's what my class is about. It's about violence and hatred and grudges, and kind of where these things could have come from in the DR.
Enjoyed reading about the struggles of two women in trinadad and how they overcame them! Exelent book!!
Jan 11, 2012 Cindy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
slow start, kind of confusing but intense subject matter. Getting better...
this was fire
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Elizabeth Nunez emigrated from Trinidad to the US after completing high school. Nunez is provost at Medgar Evers College, the City University of New York, and an award-winning author.

She received her Ph.D. in English from New York University. She is the award-winning author of six novels: Prospero's Daughter (New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts
More about Elizabeth Nunez...

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