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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A…

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A Novel (udgave 2021)

af Cherie Jones (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1288167,258 (3.63)34
Titel:How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A Novel
Forfattere:Cherie Jones (Forfatter)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2021), Edition: 1st Edition, 288 pages
Samlinger:Skal læses
Nøgleord:to-read, black-lit, caribbean-lit, woc-lit, fiction

Detaljer om værket

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House af Cherie Jones


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» Se også 34 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
A story of survival, three generations of women living with abusive men. The book is disturbingly graphic in its portrayal of violence.
It's also a story of the haves and have nots. Life on a picturesque Caribbean island where wealthy tourists have money to burn while the native islanders fight to survive. ( )
  TMullins | Jul 18, 2021 |
This novel tells the stories of 3 young adults on Barbados. They are poor and hustle doing whatever they can to make ends meet. Lala is married to Adan, but was great friends and interested in his friend Tone before Tone spent months in jail. Lala has known Tone longer than Adan has. Both men can be violent, but in different ways. Adan is offensive, Tone defensive. We also see the wealthy tourists who hire Lala to braid their hair, or hire Tone who is a male prostitute. Adan is a thief. They also sell weed when they can. While the resident slive in shacks, the tourists rent or own large houses on the beach.

The story here is fine, and I don't think I have ever read a novel by a Barbadian author before. It frustrates me that what I am reading is about how Barbadian men are criminals, the women are hard-working but regularly beaten and raped, the tourists are actually nice if painfully rich and spoiled. ( )
  Dreesie | Jul 11, 2021 |
I chose this as an audiobook for morning walks because the title appeared on the longlist of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The novel is set in 1984 in Barbados, in the fictional town of Paradise with a stretch of beach known as Baxter’s Beach. Eighteen-year-old Lala is trapped in a violent marriage. Her husband Adan kills a rich white man, Peter Whalen, during a robbery on the night Lala gives birth to their daughter. That murder is followed by another death, and more tragedy.

The novel is organized into short chapters giving the perspective of various characters. Lala, Adan, Mira Whalen (the widow of the murdered man), Tone (a beach gigolo and Adan’s partner in petty crimes), and Sergeant Beckles (the police investigator) have several chapters, but other characters like Esme (Lala’s mother), Wilma (Lala’s grandmother), and the Queen of Sheba (a prostitute with whom Beckles is infatuated) also receive some attention.

Despite the number of characters, there is no difficulty differentiating them. What is amazing is that sufficient information is given about each that their behaviour is understandable. Backstories are provided for several characters so their motivations make perfect sense. The childhoods of virtually all the characters include poverty, violence and abuse.

A major message is that lives are defined by trauma generation after generation. Lala, for example, is raised as she is because of the experiences of Esme and Wilma. Lala lives in a beachfront shack with 25 cement stairs to the sand; there is no banister and that serves as a perfect metaphor for her life. It is not unexpected that Lala wonders, “What woman leaves a man for something she is likely to suffer at the hands of any other” because “for women of her lineage, a marriage meant a murder in one form or another.”

This is not a book for the weak-hearted. Murder, rape, incest, domestic violence, drug dealing, poverty, and prostitution all are featured. For tourists, Paradise may be an escape from reality, but for the locals, Paradise is the reality they are trying to escape. Unfortunately, escape seems impossible because events conspire to entrap people. Tone wants to rescue Lala, but Sheba’s need to escape the attentions of Beckles means Tone is ensnared. Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in the ending, but it is faint.

The prose is beautiful, and the narration by Danielle Vitalis is exceptional, but readers should be forewarned that the novel is heart-breaking. It is so full of tragedy as to be emotionally exhausting.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski). ( )
  Schatje | Jun 14, 2021 |
In a Barbados unseen by tourists, two Barbadian women struggle with the aftermath of a violent event. Mira married a wealthy Brit, but their yearly vacation is destroyed by a home invasion that ends in a death and Mira is left to deal with her sorrow and loss. Lala runs off and marries Adan when she is still a teenager and soon after has a baby. Raising the baby in a small and rundown house is difficult and it's made more difficult as Adan turns abusive and controlling. When their baby dies, Lala is left to hold together what she can.

This is a novel willing to lean hard into misery. Moments of grace or simply relief from the unrelenting poverty, crime and misery these women experience are rarely seen. There was certainly a lot going on with this novel, from rapist grandfathers, to dead babies, to violent sociopaths, but I think that the misery would have had more impact if it had been leavened with with grace and hope now and again. Jones's writing is assured and full of life, and there's no question that she has a bright future as a writer. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | May 31, 2021 |
The natives of Barbados live on beautiful beaches with perfect weather, but their lives are difficult despite the loveliness of their tourist-trap surroundings. Young mother Lala, who works on the beach as a braider of tourists' hair, is trapped in an abusive marriage with small-time sociopath Adan. Multiple tragedies occur.

While I admire debut author Cherie Jones’s narrative skills and the way the story unfolded, I did not like the story itself. It's really bleak. Violence and death are everywhere: the baby dies, the dog dies, the hedge fund manager dies, even the small-time sociopath dies, and that kind are usually the last to go.

You have to be in the right mood to read a book as jarring as this one, and I don’t suppose I was in that mood. ( )
  akblanchard | May 2, 2021 |
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Gennemsnit: (3.63)
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