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A moving story rich in detail told with great sensitivity and affectionNEW YORK NEWSDAYIt is 1964 Howard lives a hand to mouth existence in the small island protectorate of Barbados with his brothers two aunts and his grandmother He is waiting for his parents who left for England long ago to send for him And as the sparks of independence crackle all around them Howard's life changes forever when Mr Bradshaw a black headmaster is hired for his school Howard begins to blossom under Bradshaw's guidance and learns that neither freedom nor knowledge comes without sacrifice and that even battles won leave victims In this beautiful poignant and ultimately hopeful novel the fate of one Bajan family rests in the hands of change change that only liberation and learning can bring


10 thoughts on “No Man in the House

  1. says:

    This is the book you want everyone to read to understand your island better Initially you are scared that it will disappoint but as you read it it just gets better And I want people to read this unknown gem Written by a Barbadian journalist who currently lives in Canada this is the story of a young poor boy Howard Prescod His biggest role model is the men who fix the tar roads He is being raised by his beloved grandmother with support from his parents who live in England But life is about to change drastically Not just for Howard but the entire island It is a great work which demystify the Independence movement taught in school The writing and dialogue are excellent This is how Bajans speak and think For me this has all the highs and lows about life here beyond the paradise that is perpetuated You will become attached to Howard and family Their joys and heartbreaks And when the title is finally explained it will be a piece de resistance And that ending was superb


  2. says:

    The book moved my soul I loved it


  3. says:

    Barbados sounds like a tropical paradise but it is a place of hunger bullying anxiety worry cooking outside in the back yard pounding laundry on rocks balancing buckets of water from a community standpipe to the backyard bucket chicken and turkeys in the backyard rain coming in the roof of the shack for Howard a young boy whose parents have moved off to England and left him and his two brothers in the care of his grandmother The parents at first send money and gifts but the money stops coming and the situation gets and dire As the country is on the brink of revolution Howard himself embarks on a new path as a new headmaster at his school begins pushing his students to prepare for school entrance exams From expecting to leave Barbados to join his parents in England to expecting to leave school to become a worker to help support his family Howard becomes a reader and his future opens up This book is grim but there is a ray of hope at the end both for Howard and for his island nation


  4. says:

    I love books by Caribbean authors set in the Caribbean They capture the rhythm and soul of the islandsI visited Barbados nine months ago and when I returned I wanted to prolong the experience I searched for books set in Barbados and found No Man in the House It took me a while to pick it up but I'm glad I finally did Foster's prose made me feel as if I had returned to the beautiful island of Barbados only I was experiencing it from the local perspective Foster accurately captures the plight of the children left behind by migrant parents to eke out a living with granny; a story common to all parts of the Caribbean even now


  5. says:

    Loved this story As a tourist we get to see the shiny side of the island but Foster shows us that life is much different for a native Bajan This is a beautiful story of hope and promise set during the independence of Barbados


  6. says:

    Great bilsdungroman about an Bajan boy coming into his own Great imagery


  7. says:

    Great book I can definitely relate to this story