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When We Were Birds
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
A mythic love story set in Trinidad & Tobago, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo's radiant debut introduces two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead. "You were never the smartest child, but even you should know that when a dead woman offers you a cigarette, the polite thing to do would be to take it. Especially when that dead woman is your mother." The St. Bernard women have lived in Morne Marie, the house on top of a hill outside Port Angeles, for generations. Built from the ashes of a plantation that enslaved their ancestors, it has come to shelter a lineage that is bonded by much more than blood. One woman in each generation of St. Bernards is responsible for the passage of the city's souls into the afterlife. But Yejide's relationship with her mother, Petronella, has always been contorted by anger and neglect, which Petronella stubbornly carries to her death bed, leaving Yejide unprepared to fulfill her destiny. Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has always abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. He has never been to a funeral, much less seen a dead body. But when his ailing mother can no longer work and the only job he can find is gravedigging, he must betray the life she built for him in order to provide for them both. Newly shorn of his dreadlocks and his past, and determined to prove himself, Darwin finds himself adrift in a city electric with possibility and danger. Yejide and Darwin will meet inside the gates of Fidelis, Port Angeles' largest and oldest cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves and a reckoning with fate beckons them both. A masterwork of lush imagination and immersive lyricism, shot through with the rhythm of the island, When We Were Birds is a spellbinding novel about inheritance, loss and love's seismic power to heal.
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KristiAhlers
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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I without a doubt 100% recommend this book. It‘s a love story it‘s a belief and how circumstances sometimes highlight challenges. I don‘t want to give too much away but this was a beautifully written story set in Trinidad populated by amazing characters. #travelthroughbooks #trinidad #bigjunereadathon @Clwojick

Jgacreations I started reading this and liked the story but just couldn‘t get into it. I‘ll have to revisit it. Ty! 2w
KristiAhlers @Jgacreations I could totally see how you‘d have to be in the right mindset for it. 2w
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AmandaBlaze
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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My #MarvellousMay #Readathon update. It seems when I don‘t make goals, I accomplish more. lol
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Sometimes i do the same. 😊 1mo
19 likes1 comment
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Floresj
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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‘m not usually into magical realism, but this book was just the right amount of realism, good character development, good pacing of plot, and sprinkles of magical elements to keep me interested. It‘s not perfect, but it‘s entertaining.

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AmandaBlaze
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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I really liked this novel. It's told from the point of view of Yejide and Darwin. Both of them deal with conflicts within their family. It's a story of loneliness and love with a ghost story and magic realism as well. The rhythm of the prose took a little getting used, but by the end it was flowing along.
#WyrdAndWonder @imyril

imyril Oooh this sounds really intriguing 1mo
28 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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AmandaBlaze
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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1. When We Were Birds and My Swordhand is Singing
2. Walden by Thoreau
3. When We Were Birds
#WeekendReads @rachelsbrittain

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AmandaBlaze
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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“'First thing you have to remember,' Granny Catherine hold her granddaughter, Yejide, close on her lap, 'is that there was a time before time.'“
A fantasy novel set in Trinidad.
#FirstLlineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Linsy
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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This book was just exquisite! 🦜🌻🌿
#fantasticstrangelings

wanderinglynn Love your pineapple mug! 🍍 2mo
PatriciaU One of my favorites of the year so far! 2mo
Linsy @PatriciaU Ditto! It's one of those I'm not sure I would have picked up on my own, so I'm so glad Jenny Lawson picked it for the book club! Did you watch her author event? So good!!! 2mo
PatriciaU @Linsy I did. Very interesting. I‘ve been enjoying the books Jenny selects altho I‘ve been having a hard time getting thru Kaikeyi. 2mo
78 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Bookalong
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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An epic, alluring, dark and atmospheric tale of love, loss, connection and healing. WHEN WE WERE BIRDS is a gorgeous debut with beautiful prose. Banwo had me hooked within the first few pages and transported into this story which is such a deeply told story. Both of these characters Yejide, and Darwin are old souls carrying heavy burdens, like family traditions and expectations, and complex mother-daughter relationships. I reccomend this one!

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TheKidUpstairs
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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Taking a short break from the epic Ship of Magic for this one on OverDrive. Even in Black and White the cover is stunning.

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amma-keep-reading
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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Such a vivid story!

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Avanders
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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Received this gorgeous #FantasticStrangelings book, set in Trinidad, which is where my mom was from - so excited to read this! ♥️

Also picked up this cozy to pass some time 🔪📚☕️

And look at that gorgeous weather for my day off tomorrow! #pluviophile

And buggy has recently gotten obsessed w those Moomin books… extra cute bc we have a lot of the older-reader books from when Mark was a kid. 🥰🥰

BethM Yay for weather! We got 60 today! With snow coming Wednesday 😂 I‘ve never heard of Moomin. 3mo
Avanders @BethM ha we had the same thing — snow last night and this morning! But then some rain too so it‘s basically all gone already 😜 Moomin is so cute! I‘d never heard of it either, but apparently Mark‘s dad found the older kid version when Mark was younger… he had a lot of overseas contacts and seemed to hear of new, fun things that way ☺️ The picture books are so cute. 3mo
61 likes1 stack add2 comments
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PatriciaU
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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What do you do on a rainy Sunday when you‘re nursing a cold? Settle into the newest selection for Jenny Lawson‘s Strangelings Book Club!

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underground_bks
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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The destinies of a Rastafarian man prohibited from interacting with the dead and a woman destined to care for their spirits collide in a cemetery full of secrets in this magical realist novel set in a Trinidad “with the volume turned all the way up.” I had a tough time getting into this, but that may be holiday distractions. I enjoyed the settings and magical realism throughout the novel. I‘d especially recommend for fans of Practical Magic.