Nigel Thomas’ … understanding of the many histories and their various impacts on literary characters reveals a profound knowledge of the human condition. A compelling, layered, and persuasive work. – Rawi Hage
No Safeguards is meant to be the first book in a trilogy, and the end of it feels like a beginning. It is a testament to H. Nigel Thomas’s storytelling that the reader is left wanting to see where the brothers will go next.
In No Safeguards, Thomas deftly delineates the contrasting natures and physicalities of the two brothers and their divergent paths … The family dynamics are well drawn and heart breaking … Thomas’s strengths [are also] voice and dialogue and he has a lively sense of humour. [He] evokes landscape with a painterly brush.
No Safeguards is filled with wonderful scenes of island life, made alive by the use of colourful dialect and vivid characters—Grama, in particular, is a force of nature. A tangible sense of pathos is present in several other characters as well … The poignancy of these lives remains and one comes away with an appreciation of the strength of these two boys, now men, who have experienced so much yet retained a commitment to each other that cannot be broken.
Thomas … wields his narration with all the vulnerability of an open bruise: through the intertwined perspectives of Jay and Paul, several communities clash and converge, each desperately doing what they believe is right. Between Montreal and St. Vincent lies the emotional freight of many worlds. Thomas reveals them to us, showing in sensitive prose that return journeys, in either direction, often cost their weight in bribes, guilt, and Hail Marys.
Nigel Thomas’ writing merits serious notice. His understanding of the many histories and their various impacts on literary characters reveals a profound knowledge of the human condition. This novel traces the lives and migrations of a family and their interrelationships, as well as the devastating effects of religious and political intolerance and their destructive residue on human consciousness. A compelling, layered, and persuasive work.