Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9781631495632. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781631495649. F
OrangeReviewStarDennis-Benn's second novel (after Here Comes the Sun) is simultaneously about the immigrant experience, the complications of family ties, and sexual awakening. Patsy, a young Jamaican woman, immigrates to the United States to join her childhood best friend, Cecily, with whom she's always had a special bond. Although entering on a tourist visa, Patsy has no intention of returning, even though that means leaving her five-year old daughter, Tru, behind. Cecily's reception is not what Patsy expected, and she spends the next years struggling as an undocumented worker. Owing both to guilt and her lack of success in America, Patsy fails to stay in contact with Tru, who is wounded by her mother's abandonment and grows up wrestling with her own sexuality and gender expression. Near tragedy eventually leads each woman finally to come into her own.
VERDICT This work shines as an example of how cultural specificity can highlight universal themes. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 12/3/18.]
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