From its title to the very end, this debut novel was intriguing. Set in Barbados in the fictional place of Baxter Beach, we meet Lala and her husband Adan. Lala has a real talent for doing hair and she braids hair for the tourists. Adan cons the tourists, steals from them and sells them drugs.
When Lala finds out she is pregnant there are hopes of this turning their lives around. Adan is not always a kind man. He can be violent and cruel. When Lala goes into labour she ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time. After the baby is born, Adan has a strong connection to her and Lala adores her. When more tragedy strikes, it sends Adan, Lala and their friend Tone spiralling and panicking. Each of them now has to make decisions that will affect all of them and Lala has hopes for getting out of this marriage.
This novel is beautifully written. I loved the use of language and Caribbean dialect. How the culture was brought into the story was also done in subtle but unmistakable ways. The story is a heavy one. Themes of marriage, crime, violence, death and grief are all part of this story. This was an incredible debut and I look forward to reading more from Cherie Jones.
A heads up that there is a lot of domestic violence so that might be a trigger for some people.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for an e-copy of this novel.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛