on September 20, 2011
Fourteen years ago Jinx's mother was killed in a terrible case of domestic abuse. Jinx blames herself for the death of her mother, and in so doing, cuts herself off from virtually all human connection, including her ex -husband and young son.
When Berris, Jinx's stepfather is released from prison, an old friend of both Berris and Jinx's mother stops by with the excuse that he is "just passing through and thought I might stop by."Jinx reluctantly allows him in, and the two of them spend the weekend talking and remembering the dreadful death of her mother.
Cubboard of Coats is a wrenchingly honest and gritty look at domestic abuse and its far reaching impact on family and friends.I found it to be a compelling and insightful read. Initially I was concerned that the subject matter might be too dark, but I quickly found myself totally immersed in the tale.
Cupboard of Coats never wallows in cliches, nor does it resort to stereotypes. A sad but ultimately redeeming read, not to be missed.
on August 24, 2011
Fourteen years ago Jinx witnesses the horrific murder of her mother in their flat in the Pemsbury Estate in Hackney, London. It's an event that will blight her future relationship with her future husband and child and force her into semi-obscurity, feeling most comfortable with the cadavers she tends at the mausoleum where she works.
One evening Lemon, an old friend of her mothers, turns up unannounced with news to break. But there's more, and over an weekend of alcohol, music and sumptuous Montserratian cuisine they revisit the events that led up to the fateful night.
Although set in and around my old stomping grounds in London around Hackney Downs and Dalston Kingsland I did not expect to like this book. For a start it is littered with ridiculous name: Jinx, Lemon and Red, names which proffer and unnecessary distraction. However as the book went on I found myself wanting to know where it was going and even enjoying the process. The descriptions of the male characters, especially Berris and Lemon are well developed and harken back to a timeless sense of style, and the descriptions of the food had me salivating.
It isn't in conventional booker territory so I would be surprised to see it going through to the shortlist but for a first time effort by Yvette Edwards, it isn't half bad.