The Coconut Latitudes
Secrets, Storms and Survival in the Caribbean
The Coconut Latitudes is memoir about a childhood in paradise, a journey into unexpected misery and a twisted path to redemption and truth. It begins with the story of an American family attempting a new life on a Caribbean island after World War II. Leaving a successful career in the U.S., a father makes a fateful decision to move his family to an isolated beach in the Dominican Republic. He plants ten thousand coconut seedlings, transplants his wife and two young daughters and declares they are the luckiest people alive.
In reality, the family is in the path of hurricanes and in the grip of a brutal dictator. The children are additionally under the thumb of an increasingly volatile father and a mother who loses her bearings along the way. Set against a backdrop of shimmering palms and kaleidoscope sunsets, a crisis causes the family, already fragile, to further implode. The Coconut Latitudes is about surviving a reality far from the envisioned Eden and the terrible cost of keeping secrets. A cross-cultural coming-of-age story, this compelling memoir balances a child’s wonder with adult compassion, ultimately revealing the transformative power of truth and an opening to acceptance and grace.