Folktales and spirits animate this coming-of-age tale of two Jamaican-Trinidadian sisters in Brooklyn grappling with their mother's illness, their father's infidelity, and the truth of their family's past.
This narration, timeless and omnipresent, telescopes out from the story of the Porters and places the family in a larger context across time. It made their story feel larger, part of an ancestral order of tales of families and love and magic, but it also acted as an obstruction at times, insulating the reader from the story at hand.
Vivid and otherworldly, this masterfully told novel brings together many threads of family history, personal memory, collective choices, sexuality, and a realm of mysteries and mythic creatures with deep origins and powers.
Palmer is playful as a stylist without undermining her themes of family, identity, and belonging. However, not all of the book’s sections are equally strong, and Palmer sometimes struggles with dialogue ... Yet when the family breaks bread at the novel's end, it's clear that Palmer has threaded her narrative web successfully, using a cast of unique characters as her spider's silk.