Oh Gad! A Novel by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse
A stirring novel about a woman facing cross-cultural odds and redefining everything she understands about her family, herself, and the country she’s never really been able to call home.
Nikki Baltimore was born in Antigua but grew up with her dad in the United States. With each year, she’s grown further apart from her mother and maternal siblings, potters in rural Antigua.
Her mother’s funeral brings Nikki back to the island, and, at a professional and personal crossroads, she makes the impulsive decision to stay after being offered a job by the ruling government.
Soon, Nikki is embroiled in a hurricane of an existence which includes a political hot potato, confusion in her romantic life, and deepening involvement in the lives of the family she left behind.
Will Nikki eventually find her place in the chaos?
Publisher: Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster (2012). USA.
"There’s such an authenticity to her story. I immediately knew the people, the characters she wrote about." – Elizabeth Nunez, author of Prospero’s Daughter and other books, and professor at Hunter College, CUNY. In 2014, she both added Oh Gad! to the core reading list for a new course on Caribbean Women Writers and recommended it on NPR.
"Hillhouse’s authorial voice is lyrical and descriptive. The interactions of this extended and blended family, along with their respective communities in Antigua and the United States provide a range of interesting perspectives that are expressed in characteristic dialogue of their regions. The universe of this novel is not only populated with intergenerational and multi-cultural characters but also with connections to ancestors and newborns. Compellingly, the complexity and depth of Oh Gad! is well disguised as easy beach reading with the usual soap opera formula of romance, political intrigue, family feuds, and the like. In this way, Hillhouse masterfully transports us back and forth from our modernity into the mythic yet real seat of Antiguan culture. What we find there is fascinating." – Leah Creque-Harris in Caribbean Vistas, 2014; full review here