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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A Novel | Cherie Jones
54 posts | 50 read | 51 to read
In the tradition of Zadie Smith and Marlon James, a debut novel, set in Barbados, about four people confronting violence and love in a beachfront paradise In Baxters Beach, Barbados, Lalas grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxters Tunnels. When shes grown-up, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men, driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed, who attempt a crime that may cost them their freedomand their lives. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives across race and class in a rapidly changing resort town, told by an astonishing new author of literary fiction.
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shawnmooney
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LadyCait84
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Pickpick

A story dominated by sadness, mostly rooted in the tightly-held secrets that keep healing, understanding, closure out of reach for many of the characters involved.

The author approaches it like a thriller, but works to slowly reveal all the hows and whys rather than a who or the what. In some ways, this makes it easier on the reader — to move between perspectives and points in time, rather than sitting with any single agony for too long.

58 likes2 stack adds
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MysticFaerie
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Pickpick

4⭐/5⭐

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andioop
Pickpick

Sad as hell. Real.

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bekakins
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Pickpick

#bookspin for April done! This was a really bleak read, but very interesting. None of the characters were particularly likeable, which made it pretty heavy going, but well constructed and interesting.

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 4mo
8 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This is a well-written book but it had a lot of violence and sadness. I liked the novel, but I definitely had to read it in short spurts.

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vlwelser
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Pickpick

I really liked this one. The title definitely caught my attention. I don't even know how to categorize this one. Maybe a thriller? Because you know who the bad dude is. A young pregnant woman is going into labor. She goes to find her husband, interrupting a robbery. That sets the scene.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 7mo
40 likes1 stack add1 comment
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shawnmooney
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kellock
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Pickpick

Liked it

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WellReadCatLady
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Pickpick

Underside of paradise in Barbados. Interesting read and keeps you engaged to see how things play out.

Chelsea.Poole I loved this one. 8mo
22 likes1 comment
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kellock
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Next up . . .

Erinreadsthebooks I loved this book! 9mo
17 likes1 comment
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staci.reads
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Mehso-so

This book was relentlessly dark, violent, and hopeless. I am somewhere between a Pick and a So-So. I struggled to feel anything other than horror as I read. And maybe that was the point.

Lesliereads Yes, I recently returned a library copy of this book without finishing it. I thought the writing was skilled but I was dreading the deepening pain of the story. 11mo
66 likes1 comment
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lauranerdette
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Savouring this read... so moving, so well done. 3/4 done and can‘t wait to get back to it but also never want it to end.

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ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

This is my last read for the Women's Prize for Fiction. It is set in Barbados and focuses on several storylines that intertwine, all domestic stories, all with violence and death. There is some humor (the title comes from some of that) but the majority was the kind of violence that makes me dissociate as a reader.

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BookishTrish
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Pickpick

I stayed up way too late last night reading this trauma-filled novel about poverty, relationships, and the death of a child. Excellent writing - the ending felt inevitable and true. All the TWs! #womensprize

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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

I don‘t know what I expected from this book, but it wasn‘t this at all. Paradise may be paradise for its western tourists visiting but for its citizens it‘s far from paradise. This book focuses on the difference between rich and poor, the relationship between husbands and wives.

TW: domestic violence and rape

79 likes3 stack adds
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AnneCecilie

you understand that you do not learn to love a man, because for the right man there is no need for the learning, the love is the most natural thing in the world. You understand that if you must learn to love a man, he is probably not the man you should be loving.

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NovelNancy
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Panpan

I wanted to like this book as it has such an intriguing title, is on the Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist 2021, and about a women, but in the end I didn't like it. There is too much going on in the plot and there are no redeeming characters in the entire novel - everyone is depicted at their worst. I even found it difficult to empathize with Lala the main character though her circumstances are mainly due to poverty and patriarchy.

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Well-ReadNeck
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Mehso-so

#audiobook

Great narration in the audiobook. A beautifully written book. But, trigger warnings for abuse. Parts were very difficult to read.

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Tamra
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Pickpick

Yikes - well written but so trauma filled! You really have to be in the right head space to stay with this novel. I didn‘t really like the end, which seemed rather abrupt, though it was appropriate it wasn‘t wrapped up in a pretty bow.

DivineDiana Thanks for your comments. I think I‘ll pass on the trauma. 14mo
Tamra @DivineDiana definite TWs! 14mo
Lauriezp Agree completely. The ending bothered me. 😶 5mo
71 likes3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

Pick with a caution! This one is a lot darker then I was prepared for. So many TW.
I love the pacing of, and the web of storylines of the book. The climax is well done, you can feel it coming like a car crash you cannot stop
The characters are not deep but very vivid in the moments. One of the better #WomensPrizeLongList books of 2021.

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Viji
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You understand that if you must learn to love a man, he is probably not the man you should be loving.

Erinreadsthebooks I love this book! 1y
Viji I‘m enjoying it too! Probably finishing tomorrow. 14mo
LitStephanie What a great quote! 14mo
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Tamra
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At the 50% mark and oh my, the damage, misery, and grief is relentless in this novel. The writing is good and I‘ll finish, but it‘s heavy. Definitely need a simultaneous read to balance emotionally.

Alfoster Yes! I found it hard to read as well!😫 1y
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Oryx
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Ok I may have gone a bit overboard on the reading themed sweatshirts recently. I may have an addiction 💓

PS this is a quote from A Prayer for Owen Meany (a book that has my love always and forever)

PPS, if you look carefully in the background, you'll see a photo of my mum going to Hogwarts via platform 9 and 3/4.

squirrelbrain Love the sweatshirt...and the shelves! How are you getting on with the book? 1y
rockpools Everything about this is just 👌! And look at those shelves 😍 1y
Oryx @squirrelbrain not too far in yet, but strong start for sure. I think I'll like it. 1y
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Oryx @rockpools thanks ❤️ 1y
ShyBookOwl I'm here for the book themed sweatshirts. Awesome. 1y
Caroline2 Love your sweater!!! 😍 1y
LeahBergen Love this sweatshirt! 1y
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emmaturi
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Pickpick

This is on the shortlist for the Women's Price for Fiction. It is a hard read and has lots of trigger warnings! Set in Barbados in 1984, It centres around Lala, who is trapped in a violent marriage. It depicts two different Barbados, one for the rich tourists and one for the poor residents. I was totally enthralled and was really routing for Lala!

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rmaclean4
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May Book Wrapup:
5 ⭐
How The One Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: Cheri Jones 🎧
4 ⭐
Conversations with Friends: Sally Rooney 📖
3 ⭐
Love Letter of the Angels of Death: Jennifer Quist 📖
Across the Green Grass Fields: Seanan McGuire 🎧
2.5 ⭐
Come Tumbling Down: Seanan McGuire 🎧
Detransition, Baby: Torrey Peters 🎧
How To Do Nothing: Jenny Odell 🎧

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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

I finished two audiobooks and both were PHENOMENAL 🙌🏻 I think One Armed Sister was slightly better (for me) but Hot Stew was really excellent, too! I‘ve seen lots of trigger warnings for Sister, but I think it‘s important to note, the violence (physical and sexual) is not gratuitous, not graphic and the sexual abuse is only mentioned not detailed. Thanks to @Megabooks who put Stew on my radar and thanks to @squirrelbrain for Sister!! 👇🏼

Cinfhen Hot Stew is available on #Hoopla ❤️🎧 1y
Cinfhen Also shoutout to @KarenUK who first put Hot Stew on @Megabooks radar....we‘re all enablers 💕💕💕 (edited) 1y
TrishB Sounds like a lovely couple of days 😁❤️ 1y
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squirrelbrain I‘ve been eyeing up Hot Stew for a little while - sounds like I might like it.... I‘m so glad you enjoyed One-Armed Sister! 😘 1y
Cinfhen I went to the beach, met friends for dinner, had face to face bookclub without masks, visited a bookstore and binged some Netflix‘s/ it was great @TrishB 1y
Cinfhen Hot stew is really good @squirrelbrain I definitely think you‘d like it and it‘s not too long on audio 1y
Cinfhen I think you‘d like Hot Stew too @TrishB 1y
Megabooks So glad you enjoyed Hot Stew!! 1y
Cinfhen It was great @Megabooks I preferred this,her sophomore book to the first one she wrote/ that was VERY BLEAK 👉🏽 1y
75 likes9 comments
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Traci1
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Today's library #bookhaul.

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick That looks like a good haul. Enjoy! 1y
60 likes1 comment
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TheKidUpstairs
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Pickpick

The rhythm of Jones' prose is propulsive, driving you through the story, even when you want to turn away from the pain and trauma. A study of intergenerational trauma experienced by women living in relative poverty surrounding the shiny tourist villas on the beaches of Barbados. Options are few, and corrupt, violent men offer "support" and take dignity and power. This is a brutal tale, and hard to get through, but Jones' talent shines.

TW?

TheKidUpstairs TW: violence, domestic violence, rape, incestual rape, pedophilia, infant death 1y
squirrelbrain Fab review - I loved this one too. 1y
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TheKidUpstairs
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Anyone else get pulled out of a story by historical anachronisms? This section takes place on July 9 1979. I read that list and thought it seemed very mid-late 80s so I had to do some research. LA Gear wasn't founded until 1983. The Walkman was released on July 1 1979 in Japan only, released later that month in a other markets but under different names.

This book is so well written, these little mistakes are just unfortunate. Come on editors!

Verity Oh I feel your pain. It‘s not hard to Google. I‘m still angry about the Alyssa Cole where the title the hero secretly has turns out to be... the duke of Edinburgh! Who at the time was still very much alive and really quite easy to discover was the title of the husband of the British queen... 1y
BarbaraBB That is so annoying! 1y
48 likes2 comments
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Bibliophibifemme
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Second book up in reading the Women's Prize shortlist. The book begins with a pregnant 18 year old about to give birth which instantly pulled me in. It has been a long time since I have been a pregnant 18 year old and I so, so rarely pick up books that feature teenage mothers. I am not far in enough to see if she will be featured I suppose, but I am looking forward to seeing how this one unfolds.

BookishTrish I‘m reading this right now too 1y
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JackieGreco
Mehso-so

I enjoyed thought this was an interesting story about a woman who lost her child and tried to get away from an abusive husband. The story was a little slow at times.

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Jas16
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Pickpick

When I started this book I was afraid it would be a struggle to finish it. There is so much abuse in every form and so little light. Set in Barbados, this is a book about people trying to find enough of anything to survive on-enough money, enough love, enough healing. The story never becomes less painful but I got to a point that I couldn‘t put it down. It is a hard book to recommend because of all the trauma but it is still so worth reading.

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rmaclean4
Pickpick

5 🌟. Violent and difficult content. All the trigger warnings. Could not put it down. Beautiful poetic writing around very difficult subject matters.

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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

Finished this on my morning walk today, just in time for the #womensprize shortlist. It so deserves to be there and I can‘t decide if it‘s my favourite or a close second.

Set on Barbados in the 1980s we see the ‘real‘ side of island life as it clashes with the tourism industry. It‘s not an easy read, containing a lot of abuse and violence but it‘s one of my top books of the year so far.

And the narrator on audio has the *most* gorgeous voice!

Cinfhen I just bought the audio!! I‘m waiting to listen for #LooseyGooseyMay ♥️ 1y
BarbaraBB Okay... a favorite of yours for the prize even with this strong shortlist, that says a lot. #stacked 1y
sarahbarnes Great review! I‘ve been very curious about this one. 1y
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Megabooks Wow!! Thanks for the tag!! 1y
squirrelbrain I‘m not sure it would have the same impact in print @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @Megabooks as the narrator has a fabulous island accent. I hope you enjoy it Cindy! 1y
Soubhiville I really loved this audiobook as well. 1y
squirrelbrain I saw your review @Soubhiville - it is such a good book isn‘t it? 1y
LeeRHarry I‘m picking this one up next 😊 1y
emmaturi I have this out from library, will start tomorrow 1y
82 likes4 stack adds9 comments
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charl08
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It is one of those mornings when the water remains hung-over after a night of reckless abandon and has vomited on the sand before seeking to sleep it off. The tourists find that a walk along the shore is less about a stroll on the stretch of pink powder reproduced in the magazines and more the halting stop-and-start necessary to avoid the hidden jellyfish in the seaweed and the spines of sea urchins washed ashore and submerged in the sand ...

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charl08
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On each of the five nights since the murder, Mira Whalen has also lost her teeth.

Painless though it is, it fills her each time with an unexplainable terror as she dreams it, a terror that remains unabated on waking. It is often an ordinary dream, as dreams go (walking the dog, washing the dishes) save that, before she knows it, her two front teeth tumble from her mouth and into her hands. Every night.

squirrelbrain I‘m getting towards the end of this one on audio - it‘s so good! 1y
charl08 Q grim and I have been distracted by Rust and Bone on Netflix - but yes, impressed with this one @squirrelbrain 1y
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Set on the beach in Barbados, but no “fun in the sun” is had by Lala or anyone else in the book. Lala‘s grandmother warns her in the beginning of the book to obey, and the tone for her life is set. Generations of agony, hardships perpetuating in paradise and the ripple effects of choices and behaviors of irredeemable character(s) emerge as layers of the past are peeled back throughout the book. Gorgeous #audiobook narration but SO TRAGIC.

Crazeedi Sounds very sad 1y
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DanaManiac
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Pickpick

4 ⭐️

The writing is excellent, but the story is so very sad as it seems that this was the life and path Lala was destined to. The life-altering events that take place in the book bring strangers together, reveal secrets and expose injustice. You're likely to feel frustrated, hopeless, angry, disturbed and a lot more while reading this book. Returning to my real life was the only solace, as the ending left me without relief.

Chelsea.Poole I‘m reading this now. I agree, it‘s beautiful but tragic. I was really hoping for a happy ending 😣 1y
DanaManiac @Chelsea.Poole It was a tough read- I‘d love to know what you think of the ending when you finish! 1y
Chelsea.Poole @DanaManiac I would have loved to see Tone and Lala get a happily ever after but I do appreciate a more realistic ending at times. I‘m hoping Lala finds happiness and security wherever the plane takes her. ♥️ And Tone, sigh, but it was building towards that conclusion, with him in the back of a cop car and I can‘t say I‘m surprised. He seems satisfied at the very least to have done away with Adan. 1y
DanaManiac @Chelsea.Poole Great points!! We had our book club discussion last night and the consensus was that the book was “too real” which made it great and also upsetting. 1y
19 likes4 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Another week, another #libraryhaul 📚

Cathythoughts Looking good 👏🏻 1y
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Pickpick

This book is infuriating. Shitty men and powerless women and situations and places that just seem hopeless. With that said, this book is a fantastic read. It‘s so incredibly well-written and demands, literally and viscerally pulls, emotions from the reader. I‘ve never wanted to kill a character as much as I want to kill Adan.

staci.reads Great review! 1y
38 likes1 comment
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DanaManiac
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I moved a few months ago and finally have a new library card. I was so excited to get the notice that my holds were ready. No more digital-only checkouts! 📚 🎧

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KatieB
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An impulse purchase after seeing the Women‘s prize long list. I hadn‘t heard of this at all but it‘s a fantastic book so far. It covers lots of difficult themes and in a month when I‘ve been focussed on how stressful my life is, it makes me realize that my worries are all trivial compared to the lives some women lead. This is why I read.

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Erinreadsthebooks
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Last night, I got to page 35-ish and thought this book was too sad for this current moment and I wanted to put it down. Alas, I was in the tub and had nothing else to read so I kept reading. Now I‘m sucked into this story and all I want to do is read. this. book. 💯

Soubhiville I feel weird saying I loved a book like this. It was excellent though. 1y
Erinreadsthebooks @Soubhiville I think I‘ll feel the exact same way when I finish 1y
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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I was drawn to this audiobook by @Lindy ‘s posts, and by this beautiful cover!

It takes place on Barbados, and the narrator has a gorgeous island accent. I‘d recommend the audio!

Beware though, it‘s not an easy read. Island life isn‘t easy for everyone. There‘s poverty there as well as the wealthy tourists, unhappy marriages along side the vacationing families. Domestic violence is a big TW, but there are others in here too.

Lindy 👍Did you see that it‘s on the Women‘s Prize longlist? 1y
Soubhiville @Lindy no, but I‘m not surprised. I thought it was excellent. 🙂 1y
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Djspens
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Pickpick

I‘m not even sure how to review this one! On the beaches of touristy Barbados, we meet several locals who‘s lives are intertwined with murder, the loss of a child, petty thievery and abuse. An interesting, well told story! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Djspens And nothing better than when the author comments on your Instagram post 😃😃😃 @djspens on Instagram 1y
52 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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LatrelWhite
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🎧 Library loan up next! Can‘t wait to start this one.

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Erinreadsthebooks
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Listen, I don‘t like Amazon either BUT they‘re having a “Get 3 for the price of 2” and I couldn‘t help myself. I‘ll shop small tomorrow, but today the giant won and I‘m really excited about these three books. 🤓

DimeryRene Ack! Amazon. *shakes fist. I get it. Amazon is tough to beat. 🥴 1y
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MsLeah8417
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟