Saturday, 2 May 2020

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud


Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
Published by Legend Press on the 16th March 2020.

L for my 2020 Alphabet Soup Challenge
I am linking this review up with May 2020 Foodies Read at Based On A True Story

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Meet the Ramdin-Chetan family: forged through loneliness, broken by secrets, saved by love.

Irrepressible Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their marvellous lodger, Mr Chetan, form an unconventional household, happy in their differences, as they build a home together. Home: the place where your navel string is buried, keeping these three safe from an increasingly dangerous world. Happy and loving they are, until the night when a glass of rum, a heart to heart and a terrible truth explodes the family unit, driving them apart.

Brave and brilliant, steeped in affection, Love After Love asks us to consider what happens at the very brink of human forgiveness, and offers hope to anyone who has loved and lost and has yet to find their way back.

Love After Love is an insightful domestic drama set mostly on the island of Trinidad, a beautiful place, but one blighted by poverty, violence and intolerance. At the centre of this novel are Betty and her pre-teen son, Solo, who take in Mr Chetan as their lodger. These three very different characters take it in turns, chapter by chapter, to narrate the story of how their lives come together and then diverge. Their relationship felt authentic and it's not taking the usual path for a fictional novel made Love After Love particularly memorable for me. I loved how Ingrid Persaud gave every character a distinctive voice even down to briefly-met cameo appearances. I could always quickly tell which of our protagonists was speaking through their use of language and the Trini dialect throughout is wonderful. It was easy to understand, and I appreciated the extra depth provided by local idioms and phrasings.

Trinidad society is a mix of varied cultural elements which is well portrayed. The cuisine especially takes influences seemingly from all over the world and food is an important part of the story. Both Betty and Mr Chetan show love through cookery and I was intrigued by other similarities between them too. One of Mr Chetan's less-healthy relationships comes close to mirroring Betty's marriage so we saw how such destructive behaviour isn't dictated solely by gender.

I'm struggling to write everything I want to say in this review because I keep veering too close to giving away plotlines that I appreciated not having know before I started to read! Enough to say, I think, that Love After Love would be a good choice for fans of tropical fiction, and of stories about atypical family relationships. Oh, and this is definitely a Snacks On Standby read!

Etsy Find!
by This Little Light By Sue in
Georgia, USA

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Ingrid Persaud / Contemporary fiction / Books from Trinidad

4 comments:

  1. A book about life on an island in the Caribbean is a real find! I guess there's on Nobel Prize winner for St.Lucia (Derek Walcott, but he's a poet) and a few others, but not very much. I wonder if this author lives in Trinidad.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Ingrid Persaud is indeed a Trinidad author! I chose this book for that WorldReads aspect :-)

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  2. I think this will be a great read for me to take on my next dive vacation.

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    1. I didn't know you are a dive fan! I imagine the Caribbean would have many amazing dive locations

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