• Books and Movies for Adults

    Review-The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini

    In The Bread the Devil Knead, we meet Allie. Confident and ambitious, she portrays an exterior of success while harboring a dangerous secret about her domestic life. This is an engaging read that digs deep into our society’s relationship with domestic abuse and uncovers a path to redemption. (I received a copy of this book so that I could prepare to interview the author.) Allen-Agostini does not shy away from the subject of domestic abuse in this fast-moving read. Readers immediately know Allie’s situation. In the very beginning, Allie awakes in great pain, but afraid to make even the slightest moan lest she wake her abuser: her boyfriend Leo. We…

  • Books and Movies for Adults

    Review-Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

    Hurricane Summer is a beautiful and compelling story of eighteen-year-old Tilla’s summer with her father’s family in the countryside of Jamaica. Tilla’s parents migrated from Jamaica to Canada, however, their father has never fully assimilated and spends so much time in Jamaica that the parents’ marriage seems all but over.

  • Books and Movies for Adults,  Reviews

    Notes on Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

    This is not a review, just my reflection on The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler written in 1993. This book is about a young woman, Lauren, growing up in the 2020s when the United States is in a state of anarchy. People survive by living in gated communities with armed neighborhood watches and live barely above the poverty line. Inflation is out of control, water is barely affordable, and slavery is mainstream once more. At eighteen, Lauren is forced to leave her community. She sets out on foot towards the north where she hopes she can find relative peace. She has an edict which she develops into a…

  • Books and Movies for Adults,  Reviews

    Review-Kingstown Burning by Rachelle J. Gray

    I received a free e-copy of this book in return for my honest review. Kingstown Burning is a debut novel by Rachelle J. Gray. The book is a work of fiction with speculative elements set in Barbados. It takes readers inside the world of a group of friends who are also Rastafarians and dips at times deeply into the culture of that religion. This positions it as potentially important work in a time when we are becoming aware of the need for authentic exploration of underrepresented communities. Unfortunately, while there are numerous merits in the writing and the character development, the book does not deliver in terms of the overall…

  • Books and Movies for Adults,  Reviews

    Review – His Only Wife by Peace Medie

    Twenty-one-year old Afi finds herself in the middle of another family’s drama when she agrees to marry the son of a wealthy woman who provided support to Afi and her mother after Afi’s father died. She enters the marriage willingly, despite never having met her intended before, and despite knowing that her husband-to-be is in another relationship and has a child from that relationship. Afi’s mission is to convince her husband to leave the other woman of whom his mother does not approve, but things get off to a discouraging start. Her husband does not attend their wedding and does not show up at the luxury apartment in which she…

  • Children's Books and Movies

    YA Review-Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

    I have to thank Ann Marie Harvey, Librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, for bringing this book to the top of my reading list on which it has been languishing since it was first published last year. Ann Marie invited me to a virtual book club meeting which I would not have been able to attend if it had been held in person (#covidsilverlining) and Frying Plantain was the book being discussed. I was unable to read it before the meeting, but it sparked such an interesting discussion that I decided to read it afterwards, and I am glad I did.

  • Books and Movies for Adults

    Review-The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

    It’s 2015 and we meet David Baptiste, his “dreads…grey and his body wizened to twigs of hard black coral.” He is a fisherman on St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, who had been the center of “the events of 1976” when a mermaid came to shore on the island and challenged the hearts and ideals of the villagers. Through a combination of points-of-view: deeply-introspective entries from David’s diary entries; haunting poems from Aycayia, the mermaid; and a third person narrative, Roffey throws us into the world of Black Conch where the people must decide what to do with the discovery that mermaids actually exist.

  • Books and Movies for Adults,  Reviews

    Review-Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma

    When I heard the premise of this book, I was intrigued and skeptical. A woman of African descent from Trinidad ends up in what is now known as Big Horn, Montana in 1830? Really? The likelihood and the logistics baffled me. Well, Francis-Sharma handles this masterfully with confidence backed up by compelling characters, complicated relationships, and what must have been a tremendous amount of research. 

  • Books and Movies for Adults

    Review-A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

    A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is essentially a coming-of-age story set in Uganda in the 1970s. The story begins with Kirabo Nnamiiro, a smart, feisty, twelve-year-old girl who consults a blind elderly neighbor, Nsuuta-labeled by the village as a witch-, to help search for her mother and also to help her to deal with the conflicting emotions wracking her teenage body that make her “feel squeezed inside this body as if there is no space.” The relationship Kirabo develops with Nsuuta is complicated by the contentious relationship between Nsuuta and Kirabo’s grandmother, Muka Miiro, an intriguing relationship which becomes the centerpiece of the story…

  • Books and Movies for Adults

    Review-One Year of Ugly by Caroline MacKenzie

    This review is of what I believe is a pre-final-edited-version of this book provided to me by Simon and Schuster via Net Galley. The book is set to be released July 14, 2020. One Year of Ugly takes readers on a riotous ride of family and romantic drama. Twenty-four-year-old Yola Palacio and her family are middle-class Venezuelans living illegally in Trinidad and thrown into a situation involving a criminal who goes by the name Ugly. Ugly takes advantage of the Palacio’s precarious position as illegals and blackmails them into supporting his criminal activities. In the story that unfolds, Yola struggles with a forbidden love interest and discovers that there is…