If I Never Went Home

Rated 4.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Written in two distinct, alternating voices, this powerful story follows ten years in the turbulent lives of two narrators – one in Boston and another in Trinidad – as they separately navigate devastating losses, illness and betrayal in their quest to belong. Moving back and forth from the present to the past we see their lives collide, and the gamble they take to find home. More

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About Ingrid Persaud

Ingrid Persaud is a writer and artist. She came to writing and fine art having first pursued a successful legal career that included teaching and scholarship at the Fletcher School of Law and King’s College London. Her creative work has been widely exhibited and her writing featured in several magazines She lives in Barbados and London.


Review by: Joy Ramlogan on Nov. 13, 2013 :
This is a very new venture for English West Indian novels - a modern angst of two female protagonists - one grown up from Trinidad and living in Boston and one growing up in trinidad. Using a flashback approach for the older character Bea and a more traditional progression for the younger Tina, the novelist played with form and this was a useful way for the parallels to appear. These women have the most dysfunctional families and are subjected to some very real abuse. This is a brave book and the author addresses taboo subjects both head on and by tangent, sexual interference and mental illhealth. The men are generally unstable/unreliable and the women are the really strong and interesting characters, unafraid to show their warts and all and strongly drawn - vivid is the word that comes to mind. So, having peeped into Bea's and Tina's worlds, disturbing portraits as they are, I want to know what happens next. When is the next part of the saga out?
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)

Review by: M Mckie on Nov. 03, 2013 :
I appreciated the realness of the story as it looked at growing up in the Caribbean in a small village and the effects that it had on both of the main characters in Trinidad and even after migrating to Boston. The certainty that your childhood stays with you and shapes you into the person you become or doesn’t become holds true and it was well portrayed.
I have to admit that I took a while to get accustomed to the fact that the story had two main voices because Bea had frequent flashbacks to her childhood when the second character, Tina was also a child. I did a bit of re-reading before I could find my bearings. Nevertheless once found, I read it with ease and comfort.
I would have liked to find out more about how Bea made the transition from patient to doctor after that final blow with her mother. She didn’t have any support to overcome it and she had a bad track record. Her character matured somewhere in the book to take that leap of faith in the end and I was waiting for the flashback to go through it with her. I am also a sucker for a happy romantic endings and I was looking forward to at least one, but my bubble got burst quickly especially with the good doctor. Ha!
I connected with Tina, a very strong character who was dealt a hard deal in life and she pushed back, sometimes too hard while forgetting to develop principles of her own. Life really isn’t about how much you fall and she persevered into my heart as I routed for her in spite of and would love to hear more about her story.
The book touched on many family issues and lifestyle consequences like incest, adultery, divorce, domestic violence and everything in between. This is my first read from the author Ingrid Persaud and I look forward to reading other books from her.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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