In the Caribbean, at the beginning of the last century, a poor rice-growing family struggle to exist. Four siblings pass their days in the ricefield, as does Ma. But Pa is an angry man ready to vent. It is the August rainy season and above their heads the black sky crackles with lightning.
On the day that Pa nearly drowns Ma in a tub of washing water, the children and their mother escape into the cane fields to wait out Pa's rage. But eight-year-old Rama, catches a chill in the rain and falls ill. What follows is a tale of the inheritance of loss. It contains a heart-stopping intensity that places it as one of the greatest Caribbean novels ever written.