Near the Hope —Jennifer Davis Carey
It is the sharp turn of the twentieth century, and Barbados is an island emptying out, as young men chase their fortunes on the Panama Canal or a merchant’s vessel, and women seek the promise held in passage to the United States.
In striking contrast, New York is an island swelling with hopeful arrivals from foreign shores keen to make their way on level soil. In the thick of this rush is young Ruth Adele “Dellie” Standard, an immigrant eager to be freed from the cycles of sugar cane and the whims of the colonial manor to craft a life of her own, one that is far more than a piece of someone else’s. Near the Hope is an evocative debut work of fiction by Jennifer Davis Carey that draws from the author’s Caribbean ancestry to tell Dellie’s story.
Blending history, folk practices, and the richness of another place and time, Near the Hope moves from the exotic and lush world of Barbados to the hazy glow of New York in the gaslight era to probe questions of home, family, and what we choose to hold on to and what we choose to let go.
While it captures Dellie’s journey with poignancy and authenticity, this deeply affecting and lyrical work also mirrors the narrative of thousands of West Indian women. Like them, abandoning her Caribbean home for a new destiny, Dellie is confronted with a world that often poses as many new challenges as new chances.