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Summary

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

Audiofile Earphones Award Winner 2021

In Baxter's Beach, Barbados, Lala's grandmother, Wilma, tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers.

For Wilma, it's the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result.

When Lala grows up, she sees it offers hope - of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man.

And Mira Whalen? It's about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered and she didn't get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is the powerful, intense story of three marriages and of a beautiful island paradise where, beyond the white sand beaches and the wealthy tourists, lies poverty, menacing violence and the story of the sacrifices some women make to survive.

©2021 Cherie Jones (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Rare is the first book that reveals the writer fully formed, the muscles and sinews of her sentences firm and taut, the voice distinctly her own." (Washington Post)

"A bright new star. Cherie Jones draws us with skill, delicacy and glorious style into a vortex of Bajan lives on the edge." (Diana Evans) 

"A hard-hitting and unflinching novel from a bold new writer." (Bernardine Evaristo)

What listeners say about How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sad


This review is in three parts

The narrator Danielle Vitalis is simply splendid her accent and tone just perfect for this book,

Thé content however is really depressing, you need to be in a happy place to listen to this.

Lastly the prose is beautiful, descriptive and powerful which lifts the sad nature of the book.

Not sure I would recommend or not. It’s just left me a bit flat.

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A beautiful chilling story.

I thought this book was beautifully written and very well read. I miss it now.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant bloody debut

This novel novel is set in Barbados. But this is far from paradise. It tells of violence to women across three generations, with crime, death, and drug dealing and thrown in the mix. The writing is wonderfully descriptive and evokes the colours, sounds, smells and tastes of the island. Very violent but I couldn’t stop listening. Brilliant debut.

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Challenging narration

Only a personal opinion, but I found the narration of this book was very monotone, to the point that I lost track of the story several times.
I had to rewind the audio so many times that I eventually switched off.
I shall need to start again and try to stick with what is very likely a good story.
I’m disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

Descriptive story
Narrated authenticly
Emotionally captivating
Imagination provoked.

A really gritty story of impact of haves and have nots.

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Magnificent new Caribbean Fiction

Deserving of all the hype. While crime thriller is not my preferred genre, this was brilliant. This fast-paced breathtaking novel by Cherie Jones takes all the overt symbolism of the tourist brochure; sun, sand, sea and the connotations - rum, sex, luxury, comfort, happy, accomodating locals, personal playground - and delves into their underbelly. Through the lives of people, rich and poor, black and white, male and female, who all live, holiday, play and work along Baxter's beach, Jones weaves a heart-breaking generations-old yet singular struggle for survival against the odds. Beautiful, compelling narration by Danielle Vitalis who skillfilly brings an amazing variety of characters to life sets a new standard for translating Caribbean writing into audiobooks. How The One Eyed Sister Sweeps Her House is one of the best books I have read in years, and I read a lot.

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Evocative. Gritty. Gripping.

Really enjoyed this audiobook. The narration was superb and I can imagine it must have been better than reading the book. I love Barbados and I could imagine the locations described. Really enjoyed it and am going to recommend to friends.

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great

I loved this book, it was easy to get into the characters. the writer draws you into the life of each individual, painting a clear vivid picture of part in the story

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not what title says

not very intersting as per the title and very short chapters at time....for what the title says and different as u go along

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Harrowing but extremely engrossing

I almost stopped listening half way through as I found the story so challenging. There is no respite from the desperate sadness of it all. However I did continue to the end and I’m glad I did. It brings no joy but it does stay with you and give you so much to think about. Brilliantly narrated.

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  • Ruthie
  • 20-03-22

An Interesting Twist of Poetic Justice

I liked the narrator most of the times. I did feel though that there were some.points where her intonation did not assume the correct cadence. I enjoyed the story....very graphic with powerful imagery.I particularly loved the use of onomatopeia. The story brings to life a lot of practical island life realities....revealing that alongside the idyllic lifestyle, the beautiful beaches and the warmth of the Caribbean sun, lies danger, domestic abuse, misogyny, poverty, rape etc...All the similar occurrences that make up life in the places that tourists escape from to relax and clear their minds. I loved that just like in real life everyone in the story is connected in some way and I appreciated the twisted way in which poetic justice is served up to various persons throughout the story.