What’s it about?
Set in Jamaica, this novel explores the lives of three women. The mother and her two daughters eek out an existence far from the world the local tourists see. Delores is a wounded mother who will do anything to survive. Her oldest daughter Margot learns to use sex as currency to get what she needs. The youngest, Thandi, is burdened with all the expectations of Delores and Margot.
What did it make me think about?
How sad are many peoples’ lives? Delores, Margot, and Thandi are born into a life that they have very little control over. The brutality of their lives is set against the beautiful island of Jamaica- what a stark contrast. What responsibility do we have to try to understand their struggles?
Should I read it?
This was one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. It is beautifully written and very engaging, but just sad! I did think about half way through that if people can live this way- I should have the fortitude to at least be aware of it. If you know Jamaica at all, this will give you a whole other view of the island.
“ ‘Well, one day yuh g’wan pay me back tenfold. So here.’ Margot peels off a couple of bills. ‘I’m sure you will put it to good use.’ Margot and Delores bank on Thandi as the one who will make it. Like an old mattress, Thandi is that source in which they plant their dreams and expectations. ‘it’s you who will get us out of this place,’ they say to her. She hears Delores telling her friends this too when they come over to play dominoes. No one knows how crushing the weight of Thandi’s guilt is when they excuse her from cooking, cleaning, and even church because of the importance they place on her studies.”
If you like this try
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isanko by Scott Stambach
Rooftops of Tehran by Mehbod Sehraji
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
The Sympathizer by Viet Thahn Nguyen