When Life Gives You Mangoes
When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten has everything you want in a story. It has a deep sense of place, characters that you completely believe in, and a mystery that pulls at you all the way through. I read it cover to cover in one night. The story is set in a small village in Jamaica where we meet Clara and her friends, living a seemingly normal life, apart from that Clara can’t remember anything that happened the previous Summer. Throughout the book we get hints at what could have happened and as a new girl, Rudy, arrives from England things start to change. It is an extremely moving story full of incredibly rendered characters, my favourite of which was Clara’s Uncle Eldorath, whom everyone avoids because it is said he can speak to ghosts. He also happens to have an extensive wardrobe of costumes that Clara and her friends might just get to try out. Told from Clara’s perspective the narrative reveals her relationships with family, friends and other members of the close knight village community. It’s a careful exploration of memory loss and connections, and Kereen’s ability to transport you to a small fishing village by the sea is mesmerising. When Life Gives You Mangoes is such an evocative book, you really feel the sun shining through the pages, a perfect read for cold Winter nights.