Sharon Maas has been kind enough to agree to take part in an interview on my blog. Ahead of this, here is my review of her latest book, The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q
What the book is about:
Thirty years of family secrets. Three generations of women. One family heirloom that could change everything. When she ran away from her childhood home in Guyana, Rika swore that she would never return. Cut off from her family, she has fought hard to make a life for herself and daughter, Inky, in London. Now, over thirty years later, Rika’s cantankerous, wheelchair-bound mother, Dorothea, arrives in London. But as old wounds re-open, Dorothea and Rika are further apart than ever. Inky soon learns that her grandmother is sitting on a small fortune. As she uncovers the secrets of the past one by one, she unravels the tragedy that tore her mother and grandmother apart. But nothing can prepare her, or Rika, for Dorothea’s final, unexpected revelation. An epic, mesmerizing tale of tragic loss, the strength of words left unspoken, and the redeeming power of love.
What I thought:
I loved this book and immediately found the characters easy to relate to. I enjoyed Sharon’s engaging, conversational style of writing and her vivid descriptions really brought the story to life. Whether it was a Guyanese garden, a Brixton market or descriptions of the Caribbean food at Brown Betty’s restaurant, I felt as though I could almost smell the flowers, sense the bustle and taste the food. I loved the relationships between the characters especially Inky and her crotchety grandmother. This book is full of strong feisty, female characters and I was particularly fond of Ma Quint. Using the different voices of her three main characters in three separate timescales was a great way to weave together the individual threads of the different generations’ stories. Sharon Maas depicts the very different worlds of Guyana and London very well, as well as showing the disparity between the black and white communities in Guyana. The social standings are clearly defined and moving between them isn’t easy. I feel that this book shows that there aren’t many differences between anyone in the end. Everyone has the same basic needs, hopes, fears and dreams and a desire to be needed and loved. This isn’t a predictable book – there are unexpected twists throughout including one big surprise quite near the end which I didn’t anticipate at all. The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q is a book to curl up with and to savour.