Coconut is ‘ion
Coconut mek you strong like a lion
Page 134 – White Chocolate
Sometimes, the things you hate with a passion, often get you a chocolate – as in a reward for a deed or an invitation to do something. I simply hate people who, when using a cell phone in public, talk so loud that they put me into their business.
Yet, it was that kind of happenstance on the bus that forewarned me that the “A” train was “messed up” and not running. And so, I instantly expected a hilarious evening but never did it dawn on me that the sound of words could make nakedness so bare that white or that sheets could illuminate any night.
To cut a long story short, the penultimate book reading for the year, sponsored by the Barbados Consulate at New York, was an evening with a difference.
When I entered the ninth floor room the rich poetic voice of Angela Lynch-Claire was describing the experience of Germaine, a high school female student, whose dignity had been ransacked like a expensive leather handbag found in an alley by bullies – schoolmates who sought to humiliate and minimise their perceived sense of her self importance. At times the language was four-lettered and colourful but the story was large.
With the first selection from the book White Chocolate complete, Lynch-Claire, a member of the Harlem Writers Guild, looked over the glasses of her husband, which she wore, and inquired: “Comments? Questions?”
“It was written about seven years ago… The thoughts come I just write… It is left to the characters to choose a pathway. It was set in America and written for an American audience… It was written to sell books, not to change lives,” were some of her responses to a wide range of questions.
During the next two selections which she read, one could hear a pin drop. All eyes and ears were fixed on the daughter of the late Louis Albert Lynch as she portrayed the experience of Upstate Westchester people on the streets of Brooklyn. And when she was done, the audience applauded.
One audience member believes that the book is perfect for a movie series. Another, realtor and former Spartan cricketer, Donald Clarke, simply loves the book and wants an audio version.
Former Bajan/CP athlete Keisha Esprit and now model, actress and author, regretted that she got there late and said: “It was real.”
Angela Lynch, a graduate of St. Gabriel’s and Queen’s College, a psychological counsellor/sex therapist living in Westchester County, New York said:
“I still miss my father. We would go to the sea on mornings and he would support me by swimming under me.”
However, she wasn’t sure to what extent Gloria Cummins had influenced her love for writing.
Those who have read the book said that I must read page 117. Be that as it may, for now, and until I read the 346-page, 52-chapter volume, I will keep the impressions that were left with me by the sound of a voice that dared to step outside conservative Barbados tradition.
“White Chocolate has Bajan roots but alas she is not conservative, neither does she hide her nakedness nor life of pretense. Her in-your-face show of whiteness looms large yet is shallow and melts away as the heat of the human body overcome by the ghetto crave for, and, expression of sex. White Chocolate is American.
“She is a search for love and finds it neither by day, nor under the covers at night. Don’t let her rainbow language of choice four-lettered words distract you from the truths of life that lay beneath the moving sands of life.”
Published by iUniverse and dedicated to her father, the chapters of White Chocolate are short and contain a humongous amount of Caribbean images in both songs and language constructs. She is married to Fred Claire, a Bahamian doctor, and has three children.