Love After Love
Irrepressible Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their marvellous lodger, Mr Chetan, form an unconventional household, happy in their differences, as they build a home together. Home: the place where your navel string is buried, keeping these three safe from an increasingly dangerous ...more
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Love After Love is Ingrid Persaud’s sophomore novel that examines… well, love! The book is set in Trinidad and Tobago and follows the life of Betty Ramdin, her son Solo and Mr. Chetan.
Betty Ramdin was only twenty years old when she met married her husband Sunil. The marriage was Betty’s way to get some form of freedom, live in and run her own house. The marriage started off great but soon evolved into a toxic relationship Betty cou ...more
We hear from three different characters: Betty Ramdin, now a widower, whose husband was an abusive drunk. Mr Chetan is a closeted gay man, a teacher, who ends up renting a room with Ms Betty. He's kind, ...more
Nothing more astutely describes Betty Ramdin. She's surrounded by the tropical breezes, the sumptuous foods and delicacies, and the rhythmic music of Trinidad. But Betty is also enveloped in the throws of an abusive marriage with her husband, Sunil. Betty tries to placate Sunil when he's filled with the after affects of too much rum and too much testosterone. What she won't tolerate is anything that comes too near to her four year old son, Solo. He is her world.
In tim ...more
It's no big surprise given the title that love is a theme that is explored within this novel. And while that is a common topic in fiction, the author managed to create something that sets it apart from so many other books. With the setting of Trinidad and island dialect used throughout the story along with complex relationships between characters, I finished the book feeling like I had a unique reading experience. And that is always a good thing in my opinion.
Betty Ramdin's husband, Sun ...more
It’s true to say that at the first two chapters I found the writing style very different as when there was dialogue there was no speech bubbles “. I soon got used to it and you know what......it really didn’t matter because it was formatted so well my old brain adapted to it good good. And yes, I said “good good” twice as in the dialect of Trinidad some words do get added on twice. I’ve learnt a lot from just how it’s written. Trinidadian English as we know it, ...more
Trinidadian, I found this "novel" offensive and not very well-written, with leaps and bounds in the narrative. The vernacular Persaud uses (for those of you who are not aware of how current Trinidadian society speaks) is quite out-dated and in one case she has a character use slang from North-America which was from the mid-nineties (describing a Pundit as being the "bomb").
There is a lack of a ...more
Caribbean literature seems to be flourishing at the moment. Was this golden period kicked off by Marlon James's Booker prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2014 ? or can we trace a line back to Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde's extensive body of work. Whatever the reason, authentically voiced novels set in the Caribbean or dealing with the Caribbean diaspora abound. Nicole Dennis Benn's Here Comes the Sun (2016) came immediately to mind when I picked up Trinidadian Ingrid ...more
I've been looking forward to reading this novel all year, but I didn't expect it to warm my heart quite as much as it did. A wonderful literary antidote to all the negativity 2020 has spread everywhere. Although the ending had me choke-sobbing, I am left with an overall lasting impression of joy.
Set in Trinidad, and to a lesser extent New York City, this is the story of an unconventional family unit. Young widow Betty Ramdin decides to take in a lodger. She could use the extra income, but al ...more
When Betty Ramdin’s ghastly and abusive husband dies as a result of a fall down the stairs, she decides that it would be a good idea to take in a lodger. She invites her rather formal and old-fashioned colleague, Mr. Chetan, to move in with her and her son, Solo, and gradually the three begin to form an unconventional little family group. Love and respect grow over the years. Solo, in particular, forms a lasting bond with Mr. Chet ...more
Such a tough line Solo, the son of Betty takes, too young to know what preceded him, and a mother's dilemma of not wishing to cast her son's father as a villain, while suffering the son's judgement of her, having cast her as the 'baddie' instead.
And the delightful, lost Mr Chetan. Living in a country where he is unable to be himself, yet finding a way to make the lives of those around him better. Cast ...more
I began reading Love After Love when my concentration had been flailing, my attention span mirroring that of a goldfish’s. I read the first page and then the second page. It was after I had read a couple of pages when it dawned on me that I had been captivated enough to not get distracted by anything. Not even the allure of my phone screen could stop me from reading what Betty, Solo, and Mr Chetan had to say about their life in Trinidad.
Ingrid Persaud’s compelling debut takes off wi ...more
The billing summarised the books as "unconventional love stories, poe ...more
↣ audiobook listened to v...more
2.5* rounded up because it's a debut. ...more
Let me explain. This book is local author Ingrid Persaud’s sophomore novel and one of my faves for the year. The writing was captivating and kept me so interested that I licked it up in a day. My issue is that as someone married to a foreigner, I will say that it is written in heavy trini vernacular/dialect (and sometimes to an exaggerated extent such that even a trini like myself would never speak like this 100% of the ...more
This book started really strongly and I was enjoying the individual voices of the three main characters and the dynamics between them. However the plot started to lose its way in the middle to end for me and became reliant on a lot of problematic tropes to tell the story.
I was most engaged with the story of Mr Chetan, a gay man struggling with the reality of keeping his sexuality a secret and the danger of being his true self openly. I liked the character of Betty too whose voice in the ...more
Love After Love is an insightful domestic drama set mostly on the island of Trinidad, a beautiful place, but one blighted by poverty, violence and intolerance. At the centre of this novel are Betty and her pre-teen son, Solo, who take in Mr Chetan as their lodger. These three very different characters take it in turns, chapter by chapter, to narrate the story of how their lives come together and then diverge. Their relationship felt authentic ...more
I finished this book a couple of days ago. A new experience I had because this book was written in Carribean Literature and it's really unique. I was having a hard time to understand the language at first, but pages after pages I started to getting used of it.
Betty Ramdin was married to an abusive husband, Sunil. She tried her best to protect her son, Solo who means everything to her. Betty is left a widow after Sunil died. Betty started to g ...more
But adding to that, the audiobook narrated by the author is getting that extra half star! It was such a pleasure to listen to, with the lilting accents providing so much atmosphere. The parts that really stood out for me were the Kali-worshipping ceremony, where Persaud sings the chants, and basically all of Part 3 with so much emotion given to the events in those final chapters.
I don't often re-read books the ...more
This book has catapulted its way into my top 5 books of 2020.
Before beginning the book, I had read various reviews and I recall one specifically describing this book as “an experience”. Now that I’ve completed the book, I wholeheartedly agree! What contributed to creating this experience is the authenticity of the book - the social and cultural realities of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the language and dialect. The characters ...more
Visit the locations in the book
An interesting book on many levels as that title is both confusing and very very clear at the same time. This is not a book about love in the romantic sense but is one about love, hate, friendship and everything in between.
A woman in Trinidad lives with her husband and son. She is abused in the marriage and so often finds herself having to cover things up and make things nice for her son to hide the truth from him. When her husband dies, she starts getting out more ...more