God of the Cocoa by Marilyn Rodwell

It is 1918 Trinidad. Latchmin is ten, and keen on school, instead of working in the cane field, or planting rice.


She comes home from school one day to find that her parents have arranged a marriage for her. This breaks the promise her mother made to her - that she can stay at school and finish her education. The boy they've chosen is a complete stranger, and the marriage is due to take place within a year. Latchmin is horrified that her mother, who believes herself to be a modern woman in that new complex environment, is reverting to traditions, and what their ancestors have brought from India. Hindu customs appear to take over, because the religion is strong. It is unlucky for a girl to start puberty whilst still at home. That brings fear to the family.

Latchmin struggles to find a way out of it, helped by her friend, Sumati, who is a little older. But things get worse. They are still children and not mature enough to solve the problem to their satisfaction on their own. Out of her depth, Latchmin struggles to be sensible, until she is blamed for Sumati's behaviour and disappearance. She is upset, but cannot give up now.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Sept. 3, 2010
  • Last updated Sept. 3, 2010
God of the Cocoa
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  • Lara's avatar
    Lara wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    This is such a good theme for development. Now you need to rewrite so that it is in Latchmin's voice. That way it will ensure your readers' identification with her. At the beginning, particularly, you have an authorial voice not the child's. It is only when you get to the dialogue that we get nearer to your MC. I think it would be better if you had some earlier scenes with L at school discussing these dilemmas with her friends, ...
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  • Lara's avatar
    Lara wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    This is such a good theme for development. Now you need to rewrite so that it is in Latchmin's voice. That way it will ensure your readers' identification with her. At the beginning, particularly, you have an authorial voice not the child's. It is only when you get to the dialogue that we get nearer to your MC. I think it would be better if you had some earlier scenes with L at school discussing these dilemmas with her friends, ...
    Read more
  • Retired user
    Reid-Sumter [Retired] wrote 1 year, 9 months ago
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  • Retired user
    Reid-Sumter [Retired] wrote 1 year, 9 months ago
    This was foreign and beautiful. Your writing style is a bit different from most of the book I've encountered. As if all may say, "This is just another Historical Fiction," I'd reply, "To hell its not!". Its interesting work. I really love the development for your plot. Characterization leaves me in awe. It's interesting and keeps me reading. I would love to see more from you and I can't wait to see what else you have in store. I will ...
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  • Seringapatam's avatar
    Seringapatam wrote 1 year, 11 months ago
    Marylin, Wow, Elizabeth below says it all. How deep is this??? I found this to be a fantastic read and a book that kept me stuck on the sofa for some hours. The voice in the story is fantastic. One of the best narratives I have read for a while. Immaculate flow to this book and thats one of the other reasons why you can keep the reader so deep into the story. So well done and he Rampage. (B.A.O.R) ...
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  • Retired user
    Brigitte_2 [Retired] wrote 2 years ago

    Hi Marylin, I am intrigued by the first chapter of "God of the Cocoa". I know little about the issues you are treating, whcih makes your book all the more interesting to read. More tomorrow, as it is late now.
    I have put you on my shelf and watchlist and stared you, keeping a couple in reserve.
    Brigitte x

  • carol jefferies's avatar
    carol jefferies wrote 2 years ago
    Hi Marilyn, What brilliant writing. I was captivated from the first page. The characters are so well painted, and the realisitic dialogue and undercurrents of conflict makes it an interesting read. The reader can really sympathize with the ten year old Latchmin's reluctance to have an arranged marriage, especially as her mother promised that her education was to be such an important part of her life. High stars from me and I wish I could back it but already my ...
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  • Tod Schneider's avatar
    Tod Schneider wrote 2 years, 6 months ago
    This has a wonderful voice to it, and a lyrical style. We are swept into the main character's dilemma, and (at least us Westerners) sympathize with her greatly. You provide a nice mix of dialogue and description, and its all well interwoven. Critique-wise, the one thing I might tinker with would be your opening paragraphs. If I was editing this I'd start at "The smell of a feast hit her from the top of the road, long before she reached ...
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  • Zoe Ramone's avatar
    Zoe Ramone wrote 2 years, 9 months ago
    This is a very refreshing change from the usual Authonomy fare. Well constructed, well written, intriguing and informing. I know nothing about the setting or period you have chosen to write about, but the authority of your writing makes it easy for me to accept that you do. I am swept into this unfamiliar world almost immediately. I loved the last sentence of your first chapter - it's a perfect invitation to read on. I found your opening paragraph a ...
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  • Neville's avatar
    Neville wrote 2 years, 9 months ago
    God of the Cocoa. By Marilyn Rodwell. I have read this book some time back. It’s a book that lingers in the mind long after putting it down. Deeply moving at times. A very emotional book, the wedding of a young girl, mistreated by her new mother -in-law. It’s steeped in sadness all the way through it...the death of the girls...the craving for a Son by Rajnath. You give a good account of the Indian customs, their beliefs, in a ...
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  • Cyrus Hood's avatar
    Cyrus Hood wrote 2 years, 10 months ago
    Hello Marilyn, What a wonderful insight you have in to the world about which you write. You write very evocatively and the story just flows so nicely that before you know it, you have reached 5 chapters. The subject is a brave one to tackle and i suppose it could very easily fall apart if written by any other than an author with your kind of depth of knowledge. but it is more than that, I am guessing that this ...
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  • Nichola Hunter's avatar
    Nichola Hunter wrote 2 years, 11 months ago
    It's been on my watch list for such a long time that I forgot about it. Very sorry about that!!! I love the opening chapter of this book - very nice, simple prose with lovely descriptive passages. The dialogue is good, as is the pace. It is a very ambitious first chapter - there is so much information required to set the scene, and this has been skilfully handled – no suggestion of info-dumping – it is woven very carefully ...
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  • Retired user
    Wanttobeawriter [Retired] wrote 2 years, 11 months ago
    GOD OF THE COCOA This is a good story. I felt sorry for Lachin from the start. Can’t imagine what I would have felt like at ten to realize I was getting married. I sympathize with te thought she knows nothing about cooking too. I didn’t know much about that either. You have an effective writing style for this; able to give just enough detail so things are clear; not so much you big down your story. Makes this interesting ...
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  • Retired user
    Tiara [Retired] wrote 2 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Marilyn, I have just come across God Of the Cocoa and wanted to say that I really like it. It seems an original idea for a story and I was easily able to picture the family and the setting despite having very little knowledge of it. Here, for what they're worth, are some of my observations: - there are quite a few typos but I'm sure that has already been pointed out to you. - in a few instances, ...
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  • Retired user
    Tiara [Retired] wrote 2 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Marilyn, I have just come across God Of the Cocoa and wanted to say that I really like it. It seems an original idea for a story and I was easily able to picture the family and the setting despite having very little knowledge of it. Here, for what they're worth, are some of my observations: - there are quite a few typos but I'm sure that has already been pointed out to you. - in a few instances, ...
    Read more
  • patio's avatar
    patio wrote 2 years, 11 months ago
    This book is both educational and emotional. Contemporary Trinidad portray a island of happy people that take part in the yearly carnival. But there's at least one sad story....10 years old Latchmin. I had a big smile on my face as I started chapter one. The food and outdoor market ignited happy memories of my native land. But my smile was whipped off with the introduction of the pending marriage of ten years old, Latchmin. From there on I was ...
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  • Retired user
    Greenleaf [Retired] wrote 3 years ago
    Hi Marilyn, I can't believe I hadn't read this sooner. It's a wonderful book set in an interesting location (Trinidad). I really feel for Latchmin. How frightened she must be to discover her parents are sending her off to marry at such a young age. Your writing style and the setting remind me of a fable. I love the culture, the dialogue, and the way you inform the reader of the background information in an interesting way. Great job. Highly ...
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  • Retired user
    "It seemed like a plot worth pursuing." Well that sums it up! This is a story worth pursuing. The opening chapter plunges us right into the meat of the story. A reader is left with so many questions unanswered, but not questions of confusion. This is merely wonderful suspense. It educates readers about another culture while relating to issues that all girls and societies face, a story for the masses. There are a few misplaced commas and words, and some ...
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  • Emzo's avatar
    Emzo wrote 3 years ago

    I have to admit, your pitch made me shrink away a little at first with the subject of your book; a ten-year-old child being forced into marriage is a harrowing subject. And yet it is so carefully written and well constructed, that I was hooked from the start. You have a great way with words, especially with dialogue. The story runs smoothly and you've done some great research here. All the best with this. Well done.

  • Tari's avatar
    Tari wrote 3 years, 1 month ago
    Now this is fascinating and will obviously raise a lot of interest. It takes the reader into the mind of a ten year old girl and a mother who has given into an ancient and powerful religion. The prose is scuccinct and the descriptive material really holds the novel together grounding the story. The plot is fast paced starting off the an inciting incidnet and raising the tension as the chapters move on. It has pathos, trauma and aggression that ...
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