Tuesday, March 8, 2022

HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield.  New York: St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2021. 375p. ISBN 978-125-62223-5 hc. $18.99    Gr. 9-12     YA FIC

Tilla is visiting Jamaica, her father's homeland, for the first time in ten years.  She is longing for her father's approval and goes down all the wrong paths to find it.  Upon arrival, Tilla and Mia's father greets them and leaves them in the care of his extended family, who live in the countryside.  Nine year-old Mia has no problem connecting with the family, but Tilla is the object of jealousy by her cousin Diana, who resents her Canadian middle-class upbringing, tells lies about her and plays dangerous tricks on her.  Driven to find friendship with some of her male cousins and friends, she makes typical teen bad choices while rumors of promiscuity begin to circulate.  As Tilla unwittingly finds out the truth behind her father's behavior, as well as Diana, Aunt Herma and Aunt Adele, she puts the pieces together, taking into account the culture and poverty of her Jamaican family.  At the same time, a hurricane hits the island and causes destruction everywhere.  Tilla also feels that she's experienced a personal hurricane destroying the beliefs she grew up with, prompting her to cut off the toxic relationships she experienced over the summer.  The physical and emotional events of the summer will allow her to build a new resilience within herself.  This book begins with a Patois Word Bank to help American readers connect with the dialect used by native Jamaican speakers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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