Despite a diverse cast Yvette Edwards manages to nail the characters perfectly.
We meet Jinx firstly with her own child and learn of the difficulties in that relationship. We then hear her story from child to adult. Along the way a family friend, Lemon, is by her side.
As a 3 year old Jinx becomes a part of a single parent family when her father dies, leaving her the only object of attention for her mother. When Jinx is 10 her mother meets Berris and he quickly joins the family unit.
He's arrogant, vain and along with those traits, as is common, he's jealous and insecure.
Jealous and insecurity are new emotions to Jinx and she takes a while recognising them. Parallel to jealousy quite often goes deviousness and hiding things from children is an art form.
When her mother dies Jinx is left damaged by the experience, convinced that it was her fault and there is a lasting effect on the relationship with her own child later in life.
The book is gently written but that doesn't stop it exploring the subject of domestic abuse with all it's complexities, it's slow burn from minor control to violence.
A very well thought out book which is a voyage of discovery, Montserratian cookery, 80's style, domestic abuse and friendship.
Recommended - Man Booker Longlist 2011
Publisher - Oneworld
#bookreview by +karentaylor