Monday, May 20, 2024

Just released: Palmyra by Karen Barrow


I used to think the past was dead and gone, that time erased memories....

An unexpected visitor to a cocoa estate on the island of Trinidad triggers buried memories of the mysterious deaths that plagued a prosperous French Creole family who once lived there. Now a near ruin, the once "Great House" was where Joe, the housekeeper's precocious eleven-year-old son, bore witness to half-understood incidents and undercurrents in the lives of its residents.

Decades later, his reawakened memories begin with the arrival of a handsome young stranger to the property-a catalyst which sets off a train of tragic events with consequences that reach into the present day.

Rich in historical and geographical detail, Palmyra chronicles a time when an educated elite rose from the ashes of slavery and indentureship to challenge the ruling white plantocracy and create an independent nation.

A finalist for the Guernica Prize for Literary Fiction, Palmyra is part coming-of-age story, part Gothic mystery and conjures a world teaming with divided loyalties, family secrets, and ambition.

Karen Barrow

Growing up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Karen's happiest hours were spent with either her head in a book or a pen in her hand. Knowing that the bohemian life of a writer would never receive parental approval, Karen journeyed to Canada to pursue other studies.

It was not long before a chance encounter with a geology student ended with raising a family in what at times felt like the far reaches of the country. During several moves, which included a delightful sojourn in Brisbane, Australia, before finally settling in the Greater Toronto Area, Karen honed the life of a professional student in search of what she always wanted to be ... a writer.

After 16 years in the Greater Toronto Area during which time she developed her writing skills and wrote two novels, Karen and her husband moved west in 2021 to settle in the beautiful Okanagan region of interior British Columbia. There she finished her third novel, Palmyra, which was begun during the initial disquieting months of the pandemic. Undoubtedly this contributed to the brooding nature of the story. 

With an unrecognizable accent and many a stamp in her passport, Karen considers herself a global citizen.

You can follow Karen here.

Palmyra is available from Chapters/Indigo here.

And see more new books by your fellow authors – and invites to their book launches – here (and scroll down).

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and four-day retreats here.

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