SECRETS WE KEPT by Krystal Sital is "Powerful and heart-wrenching."
An eloquent new Caribbean literary voice reveals the hidden trauma and fierce resilience of one Trinidadian family.
Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner in Trinidad. Yet when he fell into a coma in 2006, Sital’s grandmother seemed shockingly indifferent to the possibility of his death. With her grandfather incapacitated, Sital at last learns the truth about the terror he inflicted for decades on her mother and grandmother, and three generations of women draw closer as they share long-held secrets about their family’s past. As she explores the character of their tyrannical patriarch, Sital begins to see through the island’s tranquil surface and vivid tropical landscape to the violence, suppression, and racial tensions that permeate the history of Trinidad. On the island’s coffee plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family’s new home in America, Secrets We Kept explores universal themes of love and cruelty, poverty and ambition, resilience and finding peace with the past.
“Powerful and heart-wrenching, Krystal Sital's beautifully written memoir, Secrets We Kept, details her family history on Trinidad, as her grandmother and mother finally unleash their voices to uncover the brutal truth of who her grandfather truly was.”
- Jean Kwok, author of Mambo in Chinatown and Girl in Translation
“In this stunning, unforgettable memoir, Krystal Sital writes with unflinching honesty, exploring with great depth and complexity her grandmother's liberation after her grandfather's death and the complications that arise from this fiery matriarch's quest to selfhood after years of abuse and servitude. A brilliant account of gender inequality and the burdens we bear as women in the Caribbean.”
- Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
“Once a decade or so, if we're fortunate, comes a book that seems to insist itself into being, on that rises from the heartbreakingly silent depths of the voiceless. Secrets We Kept is that book. It is a love song to the author's Trinidadian mother and grandmother, yes, but it is also a hymn of justice to the ignored and forgotten wounds of enduring and resilient women throughout the ages. It is a tribute to truth in the face of denial. It is a deeply resonant, timely, and necessary work of art.”
- Andre Dubus III, author of Townie