Saturday, 20 August 2011
A Cupboard Full of Coats
Title: A Cupboard Full of Coats
Author: Yvvette Edwards
Number of pages: 260
Started: 18 August 2011
Finished: 20 August 2011
It was early spring when Lemon arrived, while the crocuses in the front garden were flowering and before the daffodil buds had opened, the Friday evening of a long, slow February, and I had expected when I opened the front door to find an energy salesperson standing there, or a charity worker selling badges, or any one of a thousand random insignificant people whose existence meant nothing to me or my world.
He just knocked, that was all, knocked the front door and waited, like he’d just come back with the paper from the corner shop, and the fourteen years since he’d last stood there, the fourteen years since the night I’d killed my mother, hadn’t really happened at all.
Read the first chapter here
It's been fourteen years since Jinx's mother was brutally stabbed to death in their home in East London. Fourteen years for Jinx to become accustomed to the huge weight of guilt and anger that has destroyed her life. Fourteen years to nurture an impossible shame. Out of nowhere, Lemon arrives on her doorstep. An old friend of her mother's, he wants to revisit the events leading to that terrible night, and Jinx sees the opportunity to confess, finally, her hand in the violence. But Lemon has his own secrets to share, and over the course of one weekend they strip away the layers of the past to lay bare a story full of jealousy and tragic betrayal. Narrated with a distinct and fiery spice, Jinx and Lemon must find their own paths to redemption in this stunning debut novel.
What I thought:
This was another first novel on the Booker long list, but was much more accomplished than the previous one I read “Snowdrops”.
This was a sad and well written tale of a woman coming to terms with the violent death of her mother many years before, over the period of one weekend. It was a good exploration of how we perceive events and deal with guilt and live our lives following tragic events. It could have been a depressing tale, but, perhaps surprisingly, wasn’t. Instead it was an engaging tale that was told in a mature way.