Hurricane Summer – Asha Bromfield

I have to preface this review by remarking on a journey to Jamaica that I took several years ago. We flew into Sangster Airport in Montego Bay and then took a bus from the airport for the hour plus ride to our all-inclusive resort in Negril.  As we drove out of the city and into the countryside, I saw many of the scenes that are depicted in this novel. The free ranging livestock, the men on the sides of the roads selling their wares, the homes – cozy appearing, but so much less than what many of us are accustomed to. But, being on the outside looking in briefly, I had no clue about what I was missing from their lives and culture – this book delivered it in such a mesmerizing, yet frank way…it is a story full of rich characters and experiences that I will not soon forget…

Tilla and her younger sister Mia are flying to Jamaica to spend two months of their summer with their father. For much of her life Tilla’s father has spent half of the year with her family in Toronto, and the other half with his extended family in Jamaica. While Tilla does not want to make the trip, a part of her is anxious to see her father, his family – and cousins that she hasn’t seen in years. 

Upon their arrival to Mnachester the girls are re-acquainted with their extended family and many of their cousins, including Diana & Andre, and Aunts Adele & Herma and Uncles Wayne & Junior. There’s some jovial banter as the girls are referred to as ‘foreigna’s’ as they settle in to the house. These few pages were a bit tedious as all the introductions were made and I struggled with the Patois dialect more than a bit – but keep reading – you’ll not be able to turn the pages fast enough shortly!!  I promise! 

Shortly after the girls settle into the room they’ve been provided, their dad lets it slip that they’ll likely be staying here for a few weeks, and that he’ll be going back to Kingston for work. When Tilla attempts to interject, he shuts her down and basically leaves the two girls in the company of their family, of perfect strangers. As Tilla struggles to fit in and get to know her extended family, she is randomly subjected to many themes – hostility, discrimination, racism among her family members, love, jealousy, complacency, abuse, subservience and more. It is a sobering, sad and sometimes frightening look into a culture that I, personally, had no idea ever existed – or never thought twice about. 

Very aptly named Hurricane Summer, not only for the storms that batter the island each year, but for the storm in Tilla’s heart as well. A wonderful read that will resonate long after the final page is turned… 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & St Martins Press in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit Netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

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tropicaldelusions

Hi there! I am Mel and I love to read!! My favorite genres are typically mystery/thriller, adventure/suspense and occasionally chick lit/romance stories (when the mystery/thrillers get to be too much, which isn't too often!) I have just started to write reviews for Amazon, Goodreads and this blog, although I am a novice to blogging, so THIS is a work in progress - as you can see the reviews are numerous and the true blogs are few - I'll hopefully be improving on that as time goes on!! I'm looking to network, give some newer authors some exposure and to perhaps explore myself a bit in this whole process!! I am a critical care turned CDI nurse, recently transplanted to coastal Florida, from New England. (Would love to assist with medical/hospital verbiage/scenes for authors!) I love a great cup (or pot) of coffee, day trips, visiting state parks and other nature made places, and exploring/photographing wildlife. And birds...I am a HUGE bird/nature nerd!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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