MixedThe Star TribuneBrutal ... a book of many things: of the limits of romantic and familial love; of intergenerational legacy, certainly; but more than anything else it is a book about the devastating reach of patriarchy on the most vulnerable members of society. The sheer amount of physical violence wielded by men against women and children in the novel left me gasping, and, frankly, depressed, whenever I picked it up ... I expect art to reflect all parts of life — even the most painful — but there were times when the novel\'s portrayal of its Barbadian protagonists tilted more toward the nihilistic than the realistic ... The plotting and intricate weaving of voices and timelines is powerful in moments, frustrating in others. I wanted to feel more like the story was unfolding on its own, rather than being manipulated by a very deft puppet master. In the same vein, I also wished that the women in the book were given at least a little agency in their lives, even if it wasn\'t enough to liberate them. Still, if you are looking for a story that explores power, bondage and freedom in the context of a small Caribbean community, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House has many revelations.
RaveThe Star Tribune... a book of gripping realism ... This [middle] section is the shortest in the book, and feels a bit truncated. But it is followed by the gripping final section in Mam’s voice, narrating her harrowing journey to save her family. This is a memoir of redemption and loss, and of making peace with unresolved pasts. It functions both as a social history of a bloody conflict that is still largely misunderstood (or, worse, ignored) here in the West, and as a universal story of humankind’s ability to survive even the most brutal conflicts. As Moore writes movingly, \'There are many stories of war to tell. You will hear them all. But remember among those who were lost, some made it through. Among the dragons there will always be heroes. Even there. Even then.\'
Sarah M. Broom
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneThese passages stopped me cold. Not for their beauty or wisdom, although they certainly reflect these qualities. But there were so many other equally beautiful and wise passages throughout Broom’s moving 376-page narrative of personal, familial and place-based history. No, what stopped me was the knowledge that in delving deep into the complicated, sometimes exhausting specifics of the life and times of a single house, occupied by a single family over half a century, Broom has effectively told the story of black America in one fell swoop ... Reminiscent of Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped and Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, Broom’s The Yellow House is only seemingly a personal memoir. At its core, it is a mythic rendering of the cost and brilliant tenacity of the American black family’s struggle to confront, wrestle with and resist destruction in \'the mouth of this dragon we call america,\' as writer Audre Lorde says.
RaveStar TribuneMoore’s vivid characters, beguiling language and powerful subject matter engage us thoroughly. The book is unforgettable ... Magic, ghosts, transmogrification and all manner of hauntings are as commonplace as the casual death and dismemberment of Africans ... The novel examines some...colonial tensions and contradictions, but it leaves many others unexamined in its focus on the European colonial menace. Still, even with these fissures, the story is irresistibly evocative and fierce. She Would Be King is a masterfully wrought alternate history of magical black resistance and should not be missed.