*There are spoilers*
This book is about embracing the destruction of life. The pain your family, your friends, and life itself scars your heart with. I needed to read this book at this point in my life. When every new day has felt like another hurricane. Even just writing this and remembering how it felt to read this book tears are forming in my eyes.
Tilla is a warrior. I admire her strength. I admire how in the end she puts herself first and decides to poor her love into herself instead of using people, places, or things to fill that aching void. Her relationship with her father killed me because as my dad’s dementia has gotten worse I’ve come to know a new father who has left scars on my own heart. I may be with my dad everyday. I have not been abandoned in the way Tilla gets abandoned over and over by her dad. However, I have experienced that moment where you look at your parent and you no longer see a hero and you understand that your parent will never be your champion or hero again and the acceptance of that is so hard.
The scars Tilla gets from the ideas about sexuality among the family she stays with in Jamaica are devastating. To have sexual assault be forced upon you is a fate I wish for no one to ever have to experience. On top of it for her to be blamed for it and have to deal with the feeling of shame and dirtiness of what was forced upon her hurts so much. It wasn’t her fault. Sexual assault is never the victims fault. It is beautiful to find that strength within herself to stand up for herself, but the lack of support all around just broke me.
The other part of this book that was so interesting to me was the racism within the people of Jamaica. The light skinned with lighter colored eyes were practically worshipped and the darkest skinned were beaten and treated like trash. I had thought that among black people that colorism would be much less between each other. Racism seems to be taught and expected in the culture in a way that shocked me. To the point where Tilly’s father is called Massa (which means master) by Andre as a sign of “respect”. The practice being something of a tradition passed down from the slavery times in Jamaica.
The issues of wealth and poverty too was a shock for me. Not so much that there’s poor people in Jamaica, but the way they see and treat Tilla because of her coming from foreign and her having more access to privilege. Tilla does everything she can to try and fit in and not anger anyone, but it happens anyway, because all the people see is a privileged princess and they treat her pretty horribly for it.
The other particular person that just boiled my blood was one of her uncles. He beats Andre and he also beat up one of the aunts for not serving him his food the way he wants it. Yet every person looks away and says nothing. They just shrug it off and say he was diagnosed with a blood cancer so it’s ok. It filled my heart with rage. If you can’t stand up for what’s right nothing will ever change. It’s not ok to let abusers to abuse. Tilla is the only person that stands up to him and everyone tells her to leave it alone and it drove me crazy.
I am glad for the ending. I am glad for Tilla embracing the storm and the destruction. I needed to hear it. I also have experienced culture different from how I want to see the world and how toxic some old ideas can be. Yet I have to accept that there’s a brokenness in people that no one can fix except for themselves. I have to accept that I have to create myself and I have to move forward and make my life the way I want it, but I cannot expect anything of anyone else. Everyone is responsible for healing their own pain and I can’t do it for anyone other then myself. I have to embrace the hurricane that lives inside me.
All in all:
I 100% recommend hurricane summer. I think that everyone should read it. It’s rare to see a book that embraces all that aches inside it and transforms it all into something positive and beautiful. You will never be the same after reading it and it’s for the better.
Hurricane Summer is a story of a daughter, and of a young girl retracing her origin. It is a beautiful and lyrical story, the writing style is absolutely amazing. The protagonist is relatable. The way the author portrayed the father daughter dynamics is quite realistic and honest.
This was such a refreshing read. It tells the story of Tilla, a Jamaican-Canadian teenager who travels to Jamaica with her little sister to spend two months with their father. She expects to spend the summer catching up with her dad after not seeing him for over a year; however, shortly after they arrive, Tilla realizes the visit will be nothing like she expected.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Asha’s descriptive writing paints such a vivid, beautiful picture of the island of Jamaica, I felt as though I was along for the adventure through the countryside.
There are so many different themes explored, which makes it such a great story. While Hurricane Summer primarily focuses on Tilla as she grows into womanhood and learns more about her father’s side of the family, it is also a depiction of relational aggression, family secrets, building trust, young love, exploring sexuality, colorism, and forgiveness.
There are so many adjectives you can use to describe the feelings this book will stir, but first you have to read it. This young girl, turning quickly into a young woman, will earn how her familiy's history will be the driving influence of the emotional tie between her father and her adult self. Set against the background of an emerging hurricane, the urgency of the weather matches the urgency of the characters and the community as a whole. This was a very good 5 star read.
This was the perfect summer read and I loved the exploration of the relationship between Tilla and her father. There were so many family dynamics and I absolutely could imagine myself in Jamaica with how well it was described. So many layers in this family saga from racism to class but also so smart and emotional. Wonderful debut.
The tone and content of this book is darker than I expected. DNF. The description should have included content warnings.
Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Hurricane Summer is a beautifully written coming-of-age story about a young woman finding her roots in Jamaica. Tilla is 18 when she and her younger sister Mia visit her father's home in the Jamaican countryside. They have lived in Canada all their lives and their father has been an inconsistent presence.
Tilla is initially entranced by the vibrancy of the country and its beautiful people, but she starts to encounter darker, harsher realities. Tilla starts to see the privileges she experienced in Canada as she sees class differences, colorism, and encounters misogyny.
Well illustrated is Tilla's complex relationship with her father, who has played a very different role in Jamaica for his family than he has in her own family. He is enigmatic and charming, but has let her down so many times. At times, the story is heartbreaking and beautiful. I really enjoyed this nuanced read.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC. All thoughts are my own.
Hurricane Summer was a book that I wasn't expecting to make me want to bawl my eyes out. Tilla became a character that you want to protect even though you know she has all the strength to take care of herself. Her and her twin sister were sent to Jamaica to spend time with their dad for summer vacation and things end up not being what they thought they were. Tilla didn't expect for her family to be so cut throat and vicious, especially towards her.
First, this cover is gorgeous. But I tried reading this a few different times and finally decided to DNF it. What I did read was very heavy in content, so I recommend checking out content warnings from other reviews before going in.
I love this as much as it was so hard for me to read. Tilly's relationship and realizations with and about her father were felt so similar to some of my experiences that at times it was hard to stomach.
This book covered soooooo much !!! Predatory uncles, sibling abuse, father neglect, rape, colorism, the list just goes on and on. The author did a good job painting the scenes of Jamaica. There were some characters I strongly disliked (auntie, dad, and uncle) and some that was more enjoyable (hessan, Andre). Easy to read this in one setting !!! I read this with my book club and we loved it! I had some triggering moments.
Thank you #netgalley for this #arc
A story of coming of age with the side of the family unknown in a new country with a lot of sadness, healing and joy. It was a quick read, and solidly held my attention throughout.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read and review.
Get your tissues! This lush and vibrant story will wrap you in beautiful landscape and unforgettable writing and won't let you go until you've cried out every last tear. I absolutely loved this book and its characters, including Jamaica as its own character! This story will be staying with me for a long time.
"A Wednesday book never disappoints."
- Mairy Tsirigotis
This is the story of Tillah and Mia's summer break in Jamaica. They both live in Toronto, Canada with their mother. Their father left for good a year ago and both girls are longing to spend time with their charismatic father in Kingston, Jamaica. That summer will turn out to be life-changing for both of them. I loved reading this book as it felt very real: I connected with Tillah to some level. When we are the children of immigrated parents, we feel a draw for the country our parents are from, we want to connect to the culture, our roots, but in Tillah and Mia's case, spending time in Jamaica turned out to be eye-opening to the ugliness people carry inside of them. The jealousy locals feel foe the foreign girl. The hurricane the girls will go through is the representation of what life can do to you and how you can grow from it. How you can be reborn from the devastation, sometimes as a better, more peaceful version of yourself. A great story with deep meaning that branded itself into my soul.
A big thank you to Wednesday book, author Asha Ashanti Bromfield for the beautiful writing that felt at times spiritual (loved it!), and to Net Galley for the e-ARC.
Thank you to Wednesday Books for inviting me on the Hurricane Summer blog tour, and thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC of this book.
Hurricane Summer is about strength, survival against struggles, and about the sheer everything-ness of life and nature. This was one of those books that was difficult to read yet beautiful; it is certainly not a book one picks up for fun, but is one that is bound to break your heart and slowly mend it back again. It is a book about discovering yourself and knowing you matter; and it is also about learning that you are all the magic you need while also learning that you are not alone.
Read - https://www.ladyinreadwrites.com/hurricane-summer-blog-tour/ - for the complete review and interview with the author
This book was not accurately summarized. The story was rife with triggering content and was far too heavy for the age range, in my opinion.
A very emotional and heavy coming-of-age story, Hurricane Summer follows Tilla as she struggles to fit in with family she is not familiar with during a trip to visit her father in Jamaica.
This was not a book I binged. Instead, I took my time and really sunk into the folds of the story. The author tackled family conflicts, colorism, classism, and first love in a way that both opened my eyes and healed my heart. Tilla is a character that should be protected at all costs!
This beautifully layered story is full of angst and turmoil as Tilla tried to survive mother nature and her biological father. The cover is stunning, as is Bromfield's writing. The dynamic with Tilla's father was incredibly realistic and accurate.
I received an advanced copy of this ebook from the publisher for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This book is set between Toronto, Canada and Kingston, Jamaica. I absolutely enjoyed the rastafarian language used in this book. This book is in stores for CA$25.99 (CAD). I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend reading it to anyone and everyone.