Goat Water Is Not What You Think: the Montserrat Island Life of Two Hoosiers and the Volcano That Ended It

Life at Paradise East, as the Elrods called their house, was often quirky, with bugs, cows and goats irritatingly abundant. But so were friendly local island people and incomparable ocean scenery. And then there was the volcano.


This chronicle of years on a small Caribbean isle scarcely showing on the map overflows with colorful and interesting description: everyday life trying to find auto parts and paint not available in island stores, cockroaches “the size of mice,” holiday celebrations with goat water stew, exotic costumes, and “jumbies” (ghosts). With humor and appreciation of this simple and sincere Caribbean culture the author lets us experience the trials of bringing animals through a charter flight, near-dawn ringing of church bells and the visit to the British protectorate by Prince Philip – and much more.


Most of all, in this excellently written memoir of innocents abroad in the tropics, Carol Elrod shows us the poignancy of having given oneself to a place so completely and then having it crushed – literally – by a volcano that wasn’t supposed to erupt and which covered their home and their dreams.


“Written in a reporter's clean style with charming honesty, humor, and grace…. “I highly recommend this book. It is a poignant slice of life and for me a reminder of two things: when it comes to lifestyle, often less is more; and, most importantly, we must cherish the time we spend in our favorite beautiful places on this earth, for our stay there may be fleeting.” Susie Dornan 



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