Coconut Dreams explores the lives of the Pinto family through 17 linked short stories. Starting with a ghost story set in Goa, India in the 1950s, the collection weaves through various time lines and perspectives to focus on two children, Aiden and Ally Pinto. These siblings tackle their adventures in a predominantly white suburb with innocence, intelligence, and a timid foot in two distinct cultures. Derek Mascarenhas takes a fresh look at the world of the new immigrant and the South Asian experience in Canada. In these stories, a daughter questions her father's love at an IKEA grand opening; an aunt remembers a safari gone wrong in Kenya; an uncle's unrequited love is confronted at a Goan Association picnic; a boy tests his faith amid a schoolyard brawl; and a childhood love letter is exchanged during the building of a backyard deck. Singularly and collectively, these stories will move the listener with their engaging narratives and authentic voices.
“Mascarenhas writes with precision, shifting from one character’s perspective to another’s with an ease that is admirable and engrossing. What is most fascinating about these stories is their accuracy at depicting ways in which children come to understand painful truths: often accidentally, sometimes the hard way.” (Quill & Quire)
“Coconut Dreams is a story collection that reads like a novel.” (Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail)
“An epic work in short-story form, Derek Mascarenhas’ Coconut Dreams transcends space, time and culture in [these] interconnected tales.” (Postmedia)