This book was… Oh my goodness! 😭 Such an emotional, REAL, heartbreaking coming of age story. Tilla and her younger sister Mia go to visit their estranged father's side of the family in Jamaica, as they prepare for an upcoming hurricane. But the storm is nothing compared to the drama that awaits 18-year-old Tilla on the island.
So much happens in this book, that I have no idea where to start. The abuse Tilla suffers at the hands of her family, the neglect of her father and his lies. Themes of colorism, rape, abuse and classism are explored, as Tilla's family take their frustration and jealousy out on her. They come from the countryside of Jamaica and live in poverty, so when Tilla arrives the only thing they see is a spoiled princess from Canada. The only real friend she makes is her cousin Andre. Who was my favorite character. There are a few side characters who aren't horrible to Tilla. A few of her cousins and grandparents are indifferent. But that doesn't stop them from making backhanded comments about Tilla being a foreign-rich girl.
Her Aunts Herma & Adele, Uncle Junior, and cousin Diana are the scum of the earth. There is no way I could've dealt with them for more than a few days without calling my mother to change my flight. But it wasn't all abuse and misery. Tilla meets Hassan, a cute boy who she falls in love with. But even that doesn't come without its drama.
Asha Bromfield is an AMAZING writer, and her prose really makes you FEEL the island. You experience the culture shock along with Tilla. The author forces you to feel everything with this story. And I must warn you, this book will make you cry. So prepare yourself for the heartbreak. This is not a 'happy' read, but a necessary one. There is also a lot of patois in the dialogue, so if you struggle with Caribbean dialect, I suggest the audiobook along with your regular copy. I got along fine without the audio most of the time, but enjoyed the authenticity of Asha's voice. I highly recommend this book. Go buy it right now! And don't forget the tissues!
You can buy it here on Amazon, or listen to the audiobook on Scribd!