Wed | Aug 16, 2017

‘Bare Attitude’

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 5:00 AMKeisha Hill
Contributed Photo Bare Attitude Cover Orignal

Anthony Frampton's debut novel, Bare Attitude, is a page-turner and is sure to keep you riveted. Action-packed from the very first page, it is filled with intrigue, romance, power, authority, and deception, never slowing down or skipping a beat.

A gripping romantic thriller, it tells the captivating story of intra-regional migration in the Caribbean through a Haitian's bold quest for economic independence, and the happenings of an unlikely romance.

Set on the island of Dominica, Bare Attitude highlights the experiences of the people who live there while creating a sense of native genuineness that follows the legacy of some of the best Caribbean literature. With distinct and memorable scenes, Frampton plays on his Dominican roots, taking the reader to core institutions on the island, while projecting quaint fantasy, but with rich and audacious character interactions.

The extreme opposites in the main players, Judge Chester Detouche, a renowned jurist, and Nathalie Etienne, a Haitian migrant in Dominica who is humble yet trying to evolve, makes for an interesting love story between the two. With less-than-favourable conditions in Haiti, Nathalie moves to the island of Dominica as a migrant worker under the sponsorship of Miguel Joseph, an unscrupulous lawyer who exploits her.

Nathalie, a talented artist and an unconventional therapist, smart and stunningly beautiful, became trapped under the clutches of the sleazy lawyer.

After meeting Judge Chester Detouche in a life-saving happenstance, she finds the courage and support to break free from Miguel's stranglehold, but not in time to avoid a violent rape at a high-profile party that drags her into deeper distress.

However, Chester's support and Miguel's mysterious death set off a series of events that steers her towards a brighter path. Chester seals her trust and a deep place in her heart, convincing her that he deserves forgiveness. He seeks to avenge the crime against Nathalie; however, he must not only resign from the bench, but must also discover her darkest secret that complicates his investigation, disrupts their relationship, and threatens his career.

Frampton tells this love story by alternating the first person point of view between Nathalie and Chester, a risky choice that he does just enough to successfully pull off. His easy writing style entwined with patois twangs also makes for an exciting read.

Although the plot progresses around Nathalie's wins and losses, the reader would likely empathise with the two characters, but would also find it difficult not to agonise over Nathalie's risky decisions and Chester's insecurities.

Arguably, Frampton's most lovable character is Kyle, Chester's vibrant clerk, while his most complex is without doubt the mother of Chester's son, Debbie. Kyle's inquisitiveness is humorous and lovable while Debbie, on the other hand, is unpredictable.

Anthony Frampton is an actor, filmmaker, activist, journalist, academic, and community worker. Anthony has held varied positions in the communication field in the United States and the Caribbean. He has worked in television and radio broadcasting for more than 15 years and began acting in the Dominican theatres in 1987.

In 1988, he produced his first of more than 20 radio and television documentary features. He studied television production at the Caribbean Institute of Mass Communications at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Between 1998 and 2000, he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio University and, in 2014, completed his PhD in media and communication at Bowling Green State University.

This is Frampton's first novel. Everyone wants a book with a little bit of everything. Bare Attitude is your book. It is exactly what one expects from a thriller-plot, twists, suspense - turning each page with anticipation.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com