Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
“Deeply moving, wonderfully written . . . a study of grief and remorse.”—Times (London)
“In this potent mystery . . . Edwards makes us greedy for the full story.”—New York Times
Plagued by guilt, paralyzed by shame, Jinx has spent the years since her mother’s death alone, estranged from her husband, withdrawn from her son, and entrenched in a childhood home filled with fierce and violent memories. When Lemon, an old family friend, appears unbidden at the door, he seduces Jinx with a heady mix of powerful storytelling and tender care. What follows is a tense and passionate weekend, as the two join forces to unravel the tragedy that binds them. Jinx has long carried the burden of the past; now she must relive her mother’s last days, confront her grief head-on, and speak the truth as only she knows it.
Expertly woven and perfectly paced, A Cupboard Full of Coats is both a heartbreaking family drama and a riveting mystery, with a cast of characters who linger in the mind and the heart long after the last page has been turned.
“Engrossing and human to the core, Edwards’s novel wrings the heart in the most tender of ways.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A piercing and engaging narrative that navigates through past and present heartache with tenderness and candor. This promising new author twists and turns words with skill reminiscent of Toni Morrison and Barbara Kingsolver, who similarly explore hidden and revealed secrets.”—Booklist
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Yvvette Edwards is the author of the highly praised A Cupboard Full of Coats, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize, and named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. She resides in the East End of London, and is married with three daughters and a stepson.
What People are Saying About This
“A Cupboard Full of Coats is high drama, full of breathtaking tension, and, at times, brought to mind the works of Arthur Miller and August Wilson, both of whom knew a thing or two about secrets spilled across a kitchen table.”
“I can’t stop talking about this gut-wrenching tale of forbidden love.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was recommended to me by my mother in law. This book had a lot of disturbing details as to what the main charactered endured as a child. Statutory rape, abuse ignored, a death of a mother and everyone blaming themselves. I can't really say whether or not I enjoyed this book, but it was definitely thought provoking. I am sure as a book club read you would without a doubt discuss the mother ability to put her child first and not a man. Also allowing for a child's innocence to be lost without any discussion or legal action taken. The book is subtlety twisted and will have you questioning why certain aspects of jinx's character was not developed more.
Heading: Hidden Guilt Every now and then I read a book that reminds me to be thankful for a loving and nurturing childhood, because a lack of one can often lead to a disturbing adult life. Yvvette Edwards' impressive debut novel, A Cupboard Full of Coats is such a book for me. The book is a tale of family dynamics, jealousy, tragic betrayals, and guilt that mesmerizes the reader through its searing language and characters drawn so well they fill spaces in the readers mind. Jinx, a 28 year-old woman who is haunted by her childhood, and the brutal murder of her mother 14 years ago, is the book's main narrator. While these events are always present in Jinx's mind, she has not spoken about them to anyone so lives her life in a fog, until a person from the past, Lemon, shows up at her door. With teasing language, Ms. Edwards hooks the reader from the beginning. "He just knocked, that was all, knocked the front door and waited, like he'd just come back with the paper from the corner store, 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." Lemon is back because Berris, the mother's boyfriend, who was convicted of killing Jinx's mother, has just been released from prison and has asked Lemon to forgive him. Lemon has his own demons and needs for Jinx to forgive him for past transgressions. Jinx does let Lemon in, and over the course of three days, as the stories goes back forth between the present and the past we are told a tale that will test the limits of forgiveness. As the truth reluctantly unfurls, and the interactions of Jinx, Berris, Lemon, and the mother are exposed, the reader is treated to lush descriptions of Caribbean food and the lifestyle of the Caribbean immigrants living in the East End of London. The use of food to nourish both the body and the spirit is a strong technique of this book. But, under this facade of gaiety and community, is the darker subject of domestic violence. This is never an acceptable behavior, and while Ms. Edwards does not shy away from the nasty consequences, she does an excellent job of stripping the characters to the core to reveal their warts. Compelling narrative combined with strong storytelling and vividly flawed yet interesting characters will captivate the reader until the last page. I look forward to reading future works by the author. I recommend this book to readers of literary fiction who enjoy stories of the immigrant experience and family dynamics. Reviewed by Beverly APOOO Literary Book Reviews