When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten: Blog Tour!
I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Kereen Getten’s wonderful Middle -Grade novel, When Life Gives You Mangoes, which was published by Pushkin Press on 1st October this year. (Yes, its a long blog tour!)
Every day, another blog posts their review of the book, and today I’m really happy that it’s my turn! You can find the other blogs involved in the tour below, I’d definitely recommend checking out their reviews too, and of course, you can purchase When Life Gives You Mangoes right here, if you’re tempted. (It’s so good!) Also, follow Kereen on Twitter!
So without further ado, on to my review 🙂
When Life Gives You Mangoes is a Middle Grade novel set in Jamaica, and in short, it’s wonderful! I’ve never read a middle-grade novel before but this has so much depth and it really captured my heart.
Clara and her best friend Gaynah live in the small village of Sycamore, where nothing much really happens. We join Clara as she’s trying to remember something that happened last summer. All the knows is that she used to love the water, and now she’s afraid, and her friends and family are acting strangely around her… What I loved about this novel was the bringing in of all age groups across the village –and how the events of the summer before have rippled across the community. I loved that Clara’s parents were supportive of her, with the love between the family obviously strong but subtly described, too, with simple actions showing their bond.
This is a novel not only seen from a child’s eyes, but with a deep understanding of a small community and the relationships, prejudices and bonds within it. Characters such as grumpy Mrs Gee, Pastor Brown and Clara’s Uncle Eldorath, whom everyone avoids because he can speak to ghosts – the relationships are complicated and real, even as the story is told through Clara’s eyes. As Clara struggles to regain her memories, a new girl, Rudy, arrives from England. Gaynah becomes more and more distant, teasing Clara about not being able to remember, and arguments between them become more frequent.
Sycamore felt so vivid to me, and the backdrop of the weather and approaching storms really added to the story. The twist at the end – I really, really did not see it coming, but it made so much sense! Bravo Kereen Getten on building up the suspense so well, yet giving nothing away.
When Life Gives You Mangoes is such an evocative, wonderful book that’s perfect to lose yourself in for an afternoon. I’d recommend to every age!