For Eliette, life’s memories begin sometime after the great cyclone of 1928 during which she was injured. Though she doesn’t remember the storm, the story has been related to her often by her mother. On the eve of another great cyclone (Hugo), the events of the day before the 1928 storm interest Eliette. A survivor, Eliette’s one regret in life is that she was never able to have children.
For her neighbor, Rosette, motherhood isn’t a problem. Pregnant while still under her mother’s roof, she’s thrown out to join the child’s no-good father. Now a mother of three, Rosette makes the dreadful discovery that her mother may have been right all along.
Set in Guadeloupe, Macadam Dreams is a stream-of-consciousness narrative predominantly told by the characters Eliette and Rosette. Unfolding in spiral fashion, the events of the two women’s lives (and of the violently ruined lives of several other women of their village) are intercut, examined and reexamined. Ultimately they weave a tale that is an all too common one for impoverished women in Guadeloupe.
Macadam Dreams is a finely executed novel rich in details. Brilliant.