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Loved it. Kind of like a Canadian version of "The Hate U Give". Highly recommended.
My thanks to the library for ordering this remarkable book from a Canadian author. We know in the beginning that things may not turn out well and yet we find so much dignity in the observations made by Michael and Aisha and Jelly. What a wonderful book and no wonder it is considered a gem here and in Canada. A must read.
Canada Reads 2019
Covers the visible minority experience in a rough neighborhood in Toronto.
While it's true that this book is sad, it's an essential read to understand what life might be like for those living in less privileged conditions. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for something light and uplifting, but if you're looking to expand your horizons and step out of your comfort zone, I'd highly recommend this book. It's about loss and hopelessness, but it's also about family, love and the power we have to overcome great suffering.
That being said, I didn't find the ending of the book that sad. Without spoiling the plot, I felt it ended on a hopeful note.
Clearly should have been shortlisted for the Giller. This portrayal of
brotherly love, and of the despair and hopelessness of marginalized communities is fashioned with honesty and delicacy. This author holds great promise!
This is quite a perfect book about "complicated grief", systemic racism and brotherly love.
powerful, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Although I'm not from that world I can't help but have tremendous empathy and more understanding of the plight of the at risk youths and their parents struggling to provide a better life for their children but fail nonetheless.
I personally did NOT enjoy this SAD, pessimistic, book; set basically in the poorer parts of the ghettos, which told scenes of many gang fights, racism and much young street violence - not a healthy way to spend ones time and mind in reading about, "Boyz-of-the-hood". Book is basically directed to youth, poverty, and their daunting struggles to survive in life while facing their hardships and many misfortunes. This book did NOT hold my interest long - which I lost towards the latter 1/2 - felt like a chore to finish. Skip it unless u like violence and street gang fights which doesn't go anywhere but towards death n destruction, in the end. Thx
Powerful novella. I too was sucked into the hopelessness of life in a poor neighbourhood. Mother had her religion for support but even her family back in Trinidad believed she was 'lucky' because she had escaped. Mother's overwhelming grief in the loss of one son is beautifully drawn by the surviving son. Is this the "Ford Nation" Toronto is seeking?
In beautiful language the novel explores love and loss, poverty and the immigrant experience. Left just a little dissatisfied at the end.
This short novel is an excellent study of how people grieve. It's about a poor Trinidadian-Canadian family in Scarborough and how their lives intersect with gangs and hip-hop culture and a mother who works and works and then needs to be cared for. It's a great thoughtful story, well-told.
I really enjoyed this novel. I took it out for the Amnesty International Canada bookclub. It is the story of two brothers that takes place in a rough neighbourhood in Toronto. The boys are of Trinidadian descent and live with their single mother, their father having abandoned them many years ago. This novel deals with coming of age issues including sexuality, which are exasperated by the rough neighbourhood that they live in and the boys image as visible minorities. The story is told in both past and present time, and is split into only seven chapters. The plot hits a climax when one of the brothers is killed by the police. The reason I am giving it a four is because the ending was quite abrupt and I feel like it could have been fleshed out a bit.
Story of two brothers being raised by a single mother in Toronto and the constant struggle for the boys to survive the neighbourhood bullies and gangs. I don't know Toronto but the story seems to validate what we see on the news about gangs, shootings, and police interactions with these groups of young people, often with Jamaican backgrounds, and often with horrific outcomes.