I've just begun Patrick Leigh Fermor's The Traveller's Tree, an account of the author's journey through the Caribbean in the 1940s. It's a dense, appealing book that beautifully ensnares a vanquished Caribbean, before the dawn of the region's dependence on tourism. Thus far, my excitement has me reading out of turn, drawn by remarkable phrasings. Examining the social codes of racism in Barbados, for example, Fermor describes overhearing "voices of blood-curdling gentility" among white Barbadians discussing the tea and garden parties to which their black neighbors would never be invited.
I wonder how it's possible that this book has eluded me for so long.