Book review by Dinh.
I listened to Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud and the audio book was just amazing! What a delight – I loved to hear the Trinidadian accent! The author did such a fantastic job reading her own work. Most of the time I prefer to listen to audio books done by professional readers but this one was done to perfection and is one can count as one of my exceptions.
This is my first book by Persaud and I have to say I was impressed by her debut novel. She won the Commonwealth Short Story award in 2017 and BBC National Short Story in 2018.
Here’s why it stood out and why you should check it out:
This character driven book touches on three main characters – Betty, her son Solo, and their lodger Mr. Chetan, is the focus of the book. Set in Trinadad and New York it explores the relationships and connections between them.
I was pulled into the book right away. The start of the book was a bit dark, with scenes of domestic abuse, but it does set up the journey you take with the characters.
The pace of the book was awesome – it just kept on going at a steady pace with not a dull moment. There were short chapters and plenty of dialogue to move the book along. The dialogue was the best part. I could totally imagine the person saying it.
I also liked that the book was divided into chapters between the three main characters and in their point of view. I felt I was inside their heads!
I love the directness of the author’s style. Persaud hits the mark on the culture and the way things are done in Trinadad. I felt that this book was authentic, from the use of language to showcase the characters, to the way food was cooked or a water shortage on the island.
Persaud’s strength was in showing how relationships are not always what they seem and familial ties can be messy and family is what you make of it.
Persaud does a fantastic job in portraying the characters within their setting. I loved the perspectives of Miss Betty in Trinidad and Solo in New York.
What impresses me is how the characters are so developed. Miss Betty, Solo and Mr. Chetan provided a unique outlook and a window into their soul. You can relate to each character and feel what they are feeling.
I was disappointed with the ending although I understood that it had to end somewhere. As with any character driven book, unlike plot driven books where there is a logical ending, it is hard to find a spot to end.
I was invested in the book and wanted to find out more about Betty and Solo. Did they make up? That hug at the end, did it signify the start of something new in their relationship? I would love to read a sequel to find out what goes on in their lives. C’est la vie!
My Final Thoughts
I highly recommend that you listen to the audio book Love After Love read by the author, Ingrid Persaud!
Her Trinidadian accent makes the book spark to life.
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