This story takes place in a country you only rarely hear about - Guyana in South America. A country first colonized by the Dutch and then by the British. Guyana has a history of slavery and racial tensions, which have left the country with a legacy of alcoholism, violence and poverty. Families throughout the country are struggling to cope with these issues. The alcoholism is often left untreated and pops up again in generations. Despite all this, the protagonist Muscle decides to confront the problem. He is torn by guilt, but is still convinced that only by keeping his alcoholic mother Mary locked up, is he able to save her life. Mary, however, sees the situation differently and is constantly begging Muscle to let her out, be with the family and continue drinking.
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