PERSONAL: Female. Education: University of the West Indies, B.A. (art).
ADDRESSES: Agent—4405 Northwest 73rd Ave., Suite #011-1241, Miami, FL 33166-6400.
A Thirst for Rain, Kensington (New York, NY), 1999.
Every Bitter Thing Sweet (sequel to A Thirst for Rain), Kensington (New York, NY), 2001.
Candy Don't Come in Gray, Dafina Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Author of collection, Sex and Obeah.
UNDER PSEUDONYM SIMONA TAYLOR
Night Heat, Arabesque/BET (Washington, DC), 1999.
Mesmerized, Arabesque/BET (Washington, DC), 2000.
Soul's Desire, Arabesque/BET (Washington, DC), 2000.
Love Me All the Way, Arabesque/BET (Washington, DC), 2003.
Wonderful and Wild, Arabesque/BET (Washington, DC), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Roslyn Carrington is a Trinidad-based writer who writes both under her own name and under her pseudonym, Simona Taylor, a pen name borrowed from her cat. Her first novel, A Thirst for Rain, is set in Trinidad and revolves around four families who share a courtyard. The story takes place between April and July during a year of extreme drought. The main character, Myra Cole, lives with her illegitimate teenage daughter, Odile, and Myra's father, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. She sells specialty foods and candy to support her family. Both women are pregnant, Myra by the younger Slim, a shiftless street vendor with whom she has had an on-again-off-again relationship over three years. Odile, who although she is a responsible child and a serious student, also finds herself expecting a child. The other characters include two males who share the courtyard and who admire Myra and Odile, but neither of whom have the courage to approach the object of their affection. Jacob, who has become a cobbler after suffering a crippling injury in a construction site explosion, wants to reach out to Myra, while Rory, a fourteen-year-old who lives with an abusive father, is drawn to Odile. New York Times Book Review contributor Anderson Tepper wrote that in the end, "the stage will be washed clean, but the strains of Carrington's powerful redemption song will linger."
The novel is followed by a sequel, Every Bitter Thing Sweet, which opens with an older Odile and Rory confronting their pasts and resolving not to be like their parents. Odile, who suffered a miscarriage, now works in a bar and casino as a barmaid. Rory, who deliveries prescriptions for a pharmacy and is having an affair with an older, married women, continues to suffer as his father sells off Rory's possessions to buy alcohol. As the two explore their familial relationships more deeply, they realize that they are important to who they are as adults. Carrington develops a complimentary cast of characters to flesh out her story. Jeff Zaleski wrote in Publishers Weekly that "upon this foundation she [Carrington] builds a believable and ultimately hopeful story, despite the oppressive poverty and personal demons against which her characters struggle."
Mesmerized follows Sean Scott, who is a public relations manager for Orion Methanol. Sean discovers that the new operations manager is Christian Devane, the man she jilted six years earlier. She has been assigned to smooth his transition into his new job in Trinidad, and while the two are in a bank, an explosion occurs. Since the island's hospital is unable to cope with all the injuries, they patch up the moderately injured Christian, who then recuperates at Sean's house. They discover that their breakup was a misunderstanding and rekindle the flame, but they also find that they must deal with some external situations that include a religious cult and industrial sabotage.
Soul's Desire is the story of romance between a cop and a thief and is set in the United States. Middle-aged detective Cole Wyatt has been on the trail of the younger Zhara Thorne for years, but just as he is about to catch her, she falls several stories to the ground and becomes paralyzed. Cole discovers that Zhara has turned her life around and is now a security expert and that she was hired to break into an executive's office to test the security. He feels remorse for thinking ill of her and invites her to recuperate in his home. Gwendolyn Osborne, who reviewed the novel for Romance Reader online found inconsistencies in the story, including why Cole felt obliged to take responsibility for the injured woman when she was hurt on the job, but added that despite these, "I found myself drawn to the characters. I found their background stories fascinating. The tale of Cole's maturity and redemption from days as an irresponsible young man was interesting. His relationship with his teenage son, Omar, was among the high points of the novel."
Love Me All the Way is the story of married marine biologists Matthias and Sarita Rowley. Matthias, who wants a divorce because he believes his wife has lied to him, is leading a team that is trying to saving the coral reef of his native Tobago. Sarita, who still loves him, signs on under the name of Gwen Davis, and although Matthias at first orders her to leave, he relents when he realizes he needs her expertise. Booklist contributor Shelley Mosley described the novel as a "beautifully written story where an endangered reef becomes a metaphor for an endangered marriage."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2001, Lillian Lewis, review of EveryBitter Thing Sweet, p. 1977; July, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Love Me All the Way, p. 1876.
Library Journal, September 15, 1999, Ellen R. Cohen, review of A Thirst for Rain, p. 110.
New York Times Book Review, October 3, 1999, Anderson Tepper, review of A Thirst for Rain, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, August 9, 1999, review of A Thirst for Rain, p. 346; August 20, 2001, Jeff Zaleski, review of Every Bitter Thing Sweet, p. 59.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (February 14, 2005), Gwendolyn Osborne, review of A Thirst for Rain, Mesmerized, and Soul Desire.
Roslyn Carrington Home Page,http://www.roslyncarrington.com (February 14, 2005), author profile.*