River Mumma

Recorded Books. Feb. 2024. 7:59 hrs. ISBN 9798892731737. $19.99. FANTASY
Reid-Benta’s (Frying Plantain) second novel is a coming-of-age, quarter-life-crisis tale that speaks to inherited secrets, community, and culture. Out of grad school for months and with no job prospects in sight, Alicia lives with her mother, who reminds her to get groceries and spams her with memes and weird news articles. Everything changes when she encounters River Mumma, a Jamaican water deity who appears with a quest for her—find her stolen comb within the next 24 hours, or the goddess will take the rivers away. Alicia’s friends and coworkers, Heaven and Mars, who, like Alicia, are Jamaican Canadians, are drawn into the hunt. Armed with Heaven’s knowledge of Jamaican mythology, the group contends with malevolent spirits called duppies as, with time counting down, they seek the secrets of the river. With gentle pacing and warm characterizations, Jamaican Canadian actor and narrator Tymika Tafari adds ambiance and heart. Tafari’s narration shines as she relays the characters’ quick wit and Jamaican patois.
VERDICT A fast-paced tale that draws from Jamaican folklore and Canadian pop culture. Recommended for listeners seeking a layered story that interweaves past, present, and future.
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