Title: The Star Side of Bird Hill
Author: Naomi Jackson
Publish Date: June 30, 2015
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "After their mother can
no longer care for them, young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, are
exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados to live with their
grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual
practice of obeah.
Dionne spends the summer in search of love,
testing her grandmother's limits, and wanting to go home. Phaedra
explores Bird Hill, where her family has lived for generations,
accompanies her grandmother in her role as a midwife, and investigates
their mother's mysterious life.
When the father they barely know
comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and both Phaedra and Dionne
must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the
Barbados of their family."
My Two Cents:
"The Star Side of Bird
Hill" is a coming of age story of two sisters who go to stay with their
grandmother in Barbados after their mother, who is fighting demons of
her own, can't take care of them. The sisters will deal with their new
home in very different ways and the book really explores their feelings.
This is a story about family and sisters and what it takes to overcome
the most difficult circumstances.
The sisters deal with feeling
abandoned in different ways with vastly different outcomes. Dionne is
angry and acts out at every turn. At first, I wasn't sure what was
driving Dionne's hot anger. It is just so intense. Eventually we find
out that she is using her anger and acting out to hide her deep pain and
fear. Phaedra acts completely different. She throws herself into
learning what her grandmother will teach her about midwifery. It was so
interested to see the juxtaposition.
The book takes a little
while to take off but as we learn more about Phaedra and Dionne and what
makes them tick, the book really hits a great stride. I enjoyed getting
to know the characters through this book. This is Jackson's debut novel
and this book made me excited to see what the future holds for her!