Tilla’s father leaves his family in Canada every 6 months to go back home to Jamaica but one year he doesn’t return to Canada like he usually does and he convinces Tilla’s mother to send Tilla and her sister to Jamaica for the summer. While in Jamaica Tilla has hopes of connecting with her father and getting the love she’s been missing from him, only problem is the summer has other plans for Tilla and Tilla experiences a summer like no other and is forced to come to terms with who her father really is. While Jamaica is preparing for a hurricane Tilla is experiencing a storm like no other in her own life as she uncovers family secrets in paradise.
I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t the gut wrenching story Asha gave us. From the very first chapter my heart broken for Tilla and as I kept reading with tears in my eyes all I wanted to do was hug Tilla. This book was full of so much raw pain of a girl who is searching for her fathers love. I have been fortunate enough to never know that feeling but my heart broke for every girl who has experienced this void and pain.
While my heart was breaking for Tilla I was also smiling and laughing at the amazing experiences Tilla was experiencing for the first time in Jamaica. I absolutely loved her relationship with Andre he was such a kindhearted soul and loved and guided Tilla when she needed it the most. I loved Andre and her other male cousins but those evil women in her family made me so sick to my stomach. It was so sad how they treated Tilla, this a perfect example of how some women are jealous and bitter of other women instead of looking out for one another.
The colorism in this book hurt my heart, I have heard stories of how bad colorism is in other countries but it was still a little hard for me to read about. There was also rape in this book so prepare yourself for some tough scenes.
I hated how the story ended, I felt like there was so much left unresolved but that’s what made it so real and raw. I hated how long it took for Tilla to speak up for herself but I also understood it. I wanted Tilla’s father to do right by his daughters and to put his family in their place. I was hoping for a different ending for Tilla and Hessan but again it was so real and raw that I understood this as well. I felt Hessan and Tilla’s chemistry seeping from the pages it was so strong. Their young love was so intense I didn’t care if it was right or wrong I was rooting for them.
Reading this book taught me about Jamaica’s country life, its history, culture, and the beauty of the island. This was an amazing coming of age story where a broken girl had to learn some hard truths, find herself, and learn to mend her own broken heart. This story felt so raw and real that I was able to emotionally connect to every single page. Such an amazing story, heartbreaking but amazing!