This is a beautiful, magical, surreal, though provoking, funny, lovely book. Set in an imaginary part of the Caribbean, whose inhabitants have individual special skills, often magical it follows a chef’s quest to create a perfect wedding feast, although that is incidental really to all the other things that are going on. In this gloriously vibrant setting, real life problems of unrequited love, miscommunications, difficult family relationships, drug addiction (the gentler narcotic is eating live butterflies, but eating moths is the serious dark addiction) exploitation of indigenous people, or poorer classes are explored. One of the most memorable happenings is when every woman’s external sexual parts fall off. The women are initially alarmed and worried, anxious about practical issues like infection etc, and how they react to this part of themselves being a separate thing they can hold and look at. The men don’t take it very seriously which is commented on my one woman with ‘imagine how they would react if all their penises fell off!’
I enjoyed it very much, and talked about it to the girls in my book group, even thought it wasn’t a book we had read together.