Book Review: Under the Tamarind Tree–A Novel

Short Review

Under the Tamarind Tree: A Novel

By Rosaliene Bacchus

In her novel Under the Tamarind Tree, Guayanese-born author Rosaliene Bacchus has spun a fascinating tale of family feuding, personal loss and a longing for love and self-acceptance, all set against the backdrop of crumbling Colonial power in British Guiana during the two-decade period between 1950 and 1970. Wonderfully descriptive, the novel immerses the reader in all aspects of the extremely diverse Guyanese culture – from the local food to the colorful colloquial language.

Divided into short, easily digestible chapters, we organically grow attached to Richard Cheong, the novel’s main character, and slowly come to understand (and feel) the sources of his deep pain and suffering. Ms Bacchus takes the reader on a journey of discovery that exposes the very heart of what makes humans capable of expressing both great love and harrowing evil.

I must admit I’m normally a non-fiction fan, but Under the Tamarind Tree had me hooked from the first chapter. If this novel has a shortcoming, it’s in the surprise ending which left me with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for more. My wish is that Ms Bacchus will follow up with a sequel. πŸ™‚

Note: Please don’t let the brevity of my review color your curiosity for this marvelous literary work. I have purposely limited my words because I feel completely inadequate to convey the depth of human suffering and redemption so meticulously crafted by the author.

The novel can be previewed from Rosaliene’s writer’s site at the following address:


Categories: Culture, Human RightsTags: , , , ,


  1. Wow! A big thank you, Henry. Your review came out of the blue, shedding my Covid-19 blues πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rosaliene,

      I apologize for taking so long to get around to reading your novel. I’ve been more than a little distracted by world events as well as my own little melodramas.

      I knew your book would be special and wanted to read it when I could relax and enjoy it. It blew away my expectations. You’ve crafted such a delicate, yet robust, portrait of the human condition.

      Thanks so much for sharing your vision with all of us!

      Liked by 2 people

      • No apologies needed, Henry. Thank you for your kind comment about my book. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. We humans fight so much among ourselves that we fail to see the beauty and goodness in each one of us. Racial divisiveness here in the USA, Guyana, and around the world serves only those who wield power over our lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked the story too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Henry, I’ve just added a link to your review on my Author’s website at the above-mentioned link in your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks, Henry, Jane and I are always looking for a really good read!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. IMO, anyone who hears about this novel should immediately determine to read it. I read it when it first came out and I was absorbed in the story in no time and I had to read on into the early morning hours when I realized I would never be able to put it down. It may be “fiction” but it’s historical and real for the people who lived through those times. A sequel would be great! Your review is a good reminder it is time to re-read this novel.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sha’Tara! My dear late friend and poet, who read and critiqued all the drafts of my novel, also asked me to write a sequel. While my second novel, The Twisted Circle,” is not a sequel, it’s set against another dark period in our lives during the civil resistance of 1979-1980, led by opposition leader Dr. Walter Rodney, against Guyana’s dictatorship government which culminated in his assassination on June 13, 1980.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Great review, Henry! The setting, characters and history are woven together so well. Should be recommended reading for anyone learning the history of Guyana.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks Henry. It does sound like a very good read, and not just for those interested in the history of Guyana. A novel about personal relationships and conflicts, with convincing characters and situations subtly put together, always help us acquire insights into human nature, not least our own.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Fantastic, thank you! ordering it now and looking forward to it. I also favor non-fiction, but a well crafted fiction is such a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

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