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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

A Novel

Bookseller Recommendation

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

“Lala wants more. More than her grandmother’s small house and strict admonishments. More than a hand on her head for her birthday. And certainly more than her grandmother’s tale about the one-armed sister, a tale of what happens to disobedient girls who venture where they shouldn’t. But mostly Lala wants her loving and protective mother who sang her name to her and who was murdered in her home while a very young Lala stood outside. Lala’s story becomes intertwined with the stories of Mira Whalen, the wealthy woman whose husband is murdered; Tone, the surfer gigolo; and her criminal husband Adan. They are stories of poverty, sexual abuse, loss, and pain. As their stories converge, there are harsh revelations for both the characters and the reader, and continuous suspense. This novel of poverty and survival, beautifully narrated, drew me in and often left me horrified at the actions and abuses of its characters. The suspense ebbs and flows but is ever-present, leading to a very effective open-ended conclusion.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store


"Searing . . . In affluent Baxter's Beach, the gentry of Barbados maneuver around their servants with velvet gloves and steel nerves, exposing fault lines of resentment, love as ephemeral as a tropical breeze.” (O Magazine, Most Anticipated Books of 2021)

In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It’s a cautionary tale, about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter’s Tunnels. When she’s grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom – and their lives.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives, across race and class, in a rapidly changing resort town, told by an astonishing new author of literary fiction.

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