1938 is a tumultuous year in the small Trinidadian island of El Caracol. In the sultry heat of the summer a young orphan, Theo, is sent to live with the island's doctor, Vincent Metivier. The doctor knows little of Theo's past, only that it has been troubled and that he now needs love and attention. And Theo is not the only one who needs Vincent's attention. The island is rife with leprosy; there are many patients whose needs must be ministered to. Together with Sister Therese Weil - a nun at the local convent - Vincent tries to educate the population about this most taboo disease. With war in Europe looming and a feeling of civil unrest building in Trinidad, the staggering beauty of the island is overshadowed by human discord. As Theo settles into the rhythm of life in El Caracol, he begins to unburden himself of his demons. Every night, he sleeptalks his own strange, disturbing calypso about his childhood. Vincent listens and, gradually, learns what demons still haunt the boy's mind. And as his friendship with the passionate, unpredictable Sister Weil intensifies; Vincent finds his settled life spiraling dangerously out of control . . .
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