Shadow of the Palm Tree is set in Goa, India’s very own Shangri-la. It opens with a heart-rending tragedy: the death of a mother at her own hands. Yet the shadow of sadness cast on the Abreus took shape in the 1700s, when the family converted to Christianity and joined the most lucrative enterprise of Christian Europe: the slave trade. From the day Imaculada, a traditional healer from Mozambique, entered the Abreu home, her family and theirs were fated to be entwined in a dark dance of intimacy. After their mother’s death, the Abreus flee from the penumbra of their collective grief becoming an inadvertent metaphor for the diasporic nature of the Goan community. As Goa gains independence, family equations are realigned once again. Claudinha, a descendant of Imaculada, flees Goa and the Abreus to take refuge with the Siddhis, a primitive tribal group. There is now no one left to deflect Imaculada’s malevolence. Will her prophecy finally be fulfilled? Richly told and profoundly moving, Shadow of the Palm Tree is a story of identity and survival, love and sacrifice, forgotten history and cultural conflicts.
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