Everything you need to understand or teach Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo.
Shani Mootoo's debut novel Cereus Blooms at Night is set in the fictional Caribbean town of Paradise, Lantanacamara, and follows the story of the Ramchandin family as they navigate the lingering traumas of colonialism, heartbreak, and family violence. The reader dives into the scandal, rumors, and mystery that surround Mala Ramchandin at the end of her life, with Tyler, her caregiver, resolving to uncover the truth of all that has happened to her and tell her story. Through flashbacks and Tyler's patchwork storytelling, we learn the history of Mala's family, and witness the abuses of her childhood, tracking her slow journey of healing and recovery. Mootoo's novel uses magical realism and arresting images of the natural world to paint a portrait of a young girl growing up, and a narrator discovering his own identity, learning together to overcome their oppression, defy convention, and find renewal.