Girl with "raw talent" gets rescued by black-skinned blue-eyed from "primitive" Trinidad and discovers America in 1963. Upon arrival at the Catholic college in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where she has been awarded a scholarship with two other exotic imports, Sara Edgehill promptly passes out from the sight of so many white faces.
But dealing with all that whiteness is only part of her education in the year or so that elapses during this novel. Getting to understand African-American men presents even more of a challenge, as is determining what of her homeland should be part of her life in the United States.
This all sounds really good, doesn't it? Unfortunately I found the heroine a little flat and unlikeable. I would love to read this story from the point of view of her St. Lucian friend Courtney, who has political smarts and also a great faith in Obeah.
Even though the 321 pages were kind of slow turning, there are plenty of interesting themes, like the role of women in the civil rights struggle--or really the hints of factors that made feminism all of sudden seem like a really good idea again.
The other scholarship girl, Angela, of Indian descent from British Guiana is also a more compelling and complex character than Sara with her desire to fit in and be liked by the white girls and her self-awareness of what her compromises cost her.