Got a group heading to the islands? Consider slipping a novel of life, love and the oil industry into their goody bags. Promoters of “Crude! A Story of Passion in Aruba” are not only billing the newly released book as a sure-fire way to enhance travel to the Caribbean this year, but are also expecting it to generate positive publicity for the island deluged with bad press after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The book by Laura Carabello was completed prior to Holloway’s disappearance.
Tourists will learn about a side of Aruba that has gone virtually unnoticed: The Colony, a luxurious seaside community developed by the oil industry during the mid-20th century to house its international executive team that ran Aruba’s first refinery operations. “Crude!” recounts the intimacies of heroine Debra Sheffield as she engages in a passionate love affair with an Aruban native — a dramatic departure from her New Jersey parochial upbringing and the 1960s social conventions imposed upon her.
The novel depicts Aruba in its infancy and the inhabitants that shaped its modern culture, now known to millions as “One Happy Island.” It takes a critical look at the era’s interracial, religious and class distinctions, both in the U.S. and the Caribbean. It also provides a rich travelogue of Aruba, including island history and points of interest.
The island will get another boost when the 2007 edition of Caribbean Marketplace takes place there Jan. 14-16. Caribbean Marketplace matches Caribbean suppliers with international buyers. Nearly 400 supplier companies and destinations are expected to showcase their products to close to 900 buyers from 200 international organizations.