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The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel - Naomi Jackson Groves
The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel
by: (author)
3.50 20
Two sisters are suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother, in this stunning debut novel This lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from... show more
Two sisters are suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother, in this stunning debut novel This lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 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.This tautly paced coming-of-age story builds to a crisis 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.Jackson’s Barbados and her characters are singular, especially the wise Hyacinth and the heartbreaking young Phaedra, who is coming into her own as a young woman amid the tumult of her family.Praise for The Star Side of Bird Hill“Jackson has written a first novel full of heart and heartbreak, a novel about going home, about the ties that bind three generations of women across years and despite absence. It is a bittersweet lesson in learning to recognize love.”—Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection)“Naomi Jackson has written a tender novel exploring the complexities of motherhood and childhood. The Star Side of Bird Hill holds together opposing elements—the book is quiet in the telling, but the story being told is sharp and vibrant. It is as much a story of the fears of childhood as it is a story about welcoming old age with optimism. A book that knows death and discovery. A book laced with pain but shimmering with hope. With care, the narrative addresses huge issues, such as mental illness, mortality, sexuality, and, at its very core, what it means to love another person as they are.”—Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning
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Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781594205958 (1594205957)
ASIN: 1594205957
Publisher: Penguin Press
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Reflections
Reflections rated it
4.5 Beautifully written story with a 1980's setting in Barbados
This poignant coming of age story combines lyrical writing with a realistic earthiness, occasionally it’s slightly too earthy for my tastes, and it features two sisters, Phaedra age 10 and Dionne age 16, whose plans for the summer are upended when their barely functioning mother sends them a world a...
Merle
Merle rated it
2.5 The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
This rambling little book presents a decent coming-of-age tale of two sisters, but it is disorganized and I found its supposedly wise grandmother figure at best trite and at worst infuriating. Sisters Dionne (age 16) and Phaedra (10) have grown up in Brooklyn, but when their severely depressed mot...
Steeped in Science, Submersed in Story
Steeped in Science, Submersed in Story rated it
4.0 The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel
The plot of this novel centers on the two sisters, Dionne and Phaedra, but in many ways, it was their grandmother Hyacinth's tale. I found her the most compelling character in the book. I was also somewhat drawn to Phaedra, but I just couldn't believe Dionne. And when she finally grows up, in a s...
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