A mystical coming-of-age, rags to riches story steeped in Caribbean culture and universal in its appeal. Meera is brought by her mother from Guyana to Barbados in search of a better life. They remain on the island as illegal immigrants where Meera spends her remaining childhood and early adulthood in hiding. Meera's recollections of Guyana and the East Indian traditions of her grandmother together with the Amerindian encounters of her childhood, mystically weaves for her a life of adventure and mystery in a land in which she sees herself as a captive. There is an ugly side to life in Barbados when she realises access to a formal education is barred and she must play hide and seek with the immigration authorities. Her limited access to basic human rights is underscored, especially after she is attacked and is unable to report the crime. Luckily, associations with the dignified Mutti, an elderly German lady who employs her mother as a maid, help Meera to maintain a sense of her humanity and as she comes to maturity, Meera realises she is blessed with the gift to heal others. The genes she has inherited from the Guyanese Arawaks cause the most prominent of society to throw themselves at her mercy.
Zan McDowell was educated at the UWI and the University of Cambridge. She worked as a university academic for several years. Semi-retired, she spends her free time painting and writing novels, mainly set in the Caribbean where she resides with her family. She has a number of fiction and non-fiction publications to her credit.