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The Final Passage

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  7 reviews
As nineteen-year-old Leila surveys her island home from the ship that will carry her, her husband, and baby to England, she contemplates the Caribbean life of the 1950s that is chaotic, hand-to-mouth, and offers no way but out.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 31st 1995 by Vintage (first published February 1st 1985)
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I would like to make it clear that I thought this book was well written. I enjoyed the imagery as well as Phillips' narrative style. I also enjoyed Bradeth and Millie and was sad that I did not get to spend more time with them. I gave this book two stars only because it left me feeling depressed. While I sympathized with Leila's situation (distant mother, absent husband, foreign land) I could not help but wish she would have tried a little more to stand up for herself. Granted, this is set in th ...more
Phillips does a great job capturing the dashed hopes and powerlessness felt by the main characters as they leave their impoverished island home and journey to England in search of a better life. The grass is not always greener and poverty in a place you know may be easier to endure.
I really don't like Phillips' writing style in general, but he has an amazing way of describing scenery. I felt the heat of the island and the isolation of London. I did not like any of the characters, except for the minor ones, but still. This was for English.
This was the first novel so far in my 20th Century Brit Lit course which I've really enjoyed. It's beautifully, yet sadly, written.
I have to write a paper on it now, otherwise I'd add more to the review!
Trish Lata Gooljarsingh
Sep 04, 2011 Trish Lata Gooljarsingh is currently reading it
This is the second book from Caryl Phillips that I am reading and I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying this writer. He reminds me a bit of Naipaul with his cutting sense of humor.

Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
I discover myself to be in a minority who find this book loathsome: unconvincing characters, undeveloped motives, half-hearted attempts at stream-of-consciousness, sloppy metaphors.
Very well-written, but just so bleak. I kept wanting to shake several of the characters, they are just so human, so completely flawed.
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Caryl Phillips was born in St.Kitts and came to Britain at the age of four months. He grew up in Leeds, and studied English Literature at Oxford University.

He began writing for the theatre and his plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983). He won the BBC Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play of the year with The Wasted Years (1984). He has written
More about Caryl Phillips...
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