…by Yvvette Edwards.
Jinx is a 30 year old adult woman still grappling with memories of her mother’s brutal murder fourteen years ago. The grief and the guilt consume her every core, while the memories of her childhood continue to damage her adult relationships as well as her relationship with her own child. Things change with the arrival of Lemon. A ‘family friend’ she hasn’t seen for fourteen years. He wants to talk about the night of the murder following having talked to Jinx’s mother’s murderer. Lemon’s friend and her mother’s partner, Berris. And he is unwilling to leave until he tells her everything and hears everything she has to say. Despite trying her best to avoid talking about that night for years, Jinx is made to recount those memories and is at risk of another breakdown. However, at the same time, could this be her chance at redemption?
This debut novel by Yvvette Edwards is powerful and heart-breaking. It evokes images that are unimaginable to most. As Jinx and Lemon remember the past, we learn about what culminates to her mother’s ultimate end. The violence that her mother encountered at the hands of the man she loved. All in the name of ‘love’. Jinx’s confusion about her mother’s behaviour as a 16 year old is extremely believeable. Why would a woman endure that abuse? Why would a woman subject herself to the blows of a man? Why wouldn’t she just get rid of the man? Especially when there was no reason to depend on him! The turmoil and emotions are so powerful that you hurt with Jinx and her mother. The cycle of domestic violence is portrayed perfectly. The beatings. The remorse. The gifts. In the form of expensive coats. The acceptance. It is incredibly sad. And even sadder to see how it messes up a person’s life later. A child’s life. The guilt a child can hold. And yet, at the same time, it is hopeful.
This beautifully written novel was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011. I’m amazed it didn’t get shortlisted or even win! I give it a rating of 5 and highly recommend it!
Until next time,