Saturday 22 May 2021

#BlogTour Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins

It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins.

After the critical success of her first two books of nonfiction, New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins brings us a captivating fiction debut, Caul Baby, a family saga filled with secrets and magic. 

About the Author

Morgan is the author of Wandering in Strange Lands and the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing and a Senior Editor at ZORA. A visiting professor at Columbia University and a Forbes 30 under 30 Leader in Media, Jerkins’s short form work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, ELLE, Esquire, and The Guardian, among many others. She is based in Harlem. Follow @MorganJerkins on Twitter, Visit

About the book

Desperate to be a mother after her multiple pregnancies ended in heartbreak, Laila turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power. When the deal for Laila to acquire the piece of caul falls through and her child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage. What she doesn’t know is that her family will be forever intertwined with the Melancons when her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student, delivers a baby girl and gives her to the Melancons to raise as one of their own.

The baby, Hallow, is special. She is born with a caul and the Melancons’ matriarch, Maman, believes she will restore the family’s prosperity. Growing up, Hallow is kept sheltered in the Melancons’ decrepit brownstone while her cousin, Helena, is free to roam the streets. As she grows older, Hallow becomes suspicious of the Melancon women, particularly of whether Josephine, the woman she calls mother, really brought her into the world, and of Maman, who only seems to care about Hallow’s caul and the wealth it can bring to the family. As Hallow grows more distrustful of the family, the home itself begins to fall apart.

As the Melancons’ thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. When Hallow and Amara cross paths, Hallow must decide where her loyalty lies.


Laila has reached the point of no return when it comes to being so desperate she will do anything to ensure her pregnancy doesn't end in tragedy again. She turns to the Melancon women, who are known for their potent witchcraft like persuasion, perhaps too potent. Their tactics only serve to create a malignant atmosphere, which opens a door to the real faces behind the doors of the magic they purport to wield.

It's a cleverly melded story of magical realism, culture and identity. Jerkins has created a family saga that simultaneously is intricate blueprint of the juxtaposition of cultural and historical dynamics with the demands of modern society.

The cultural beliefs surrounding cauls aren't always positive and in this story their use leans towards negative, manipulative and obsessive. It's that essence of old culture that the Melancon women use to create their basis of power. Their gift of support in the form of magical realism can become a double-edged sword to wield - retracting the power of the caul drives the pain and emotional power of this story.

I really enjoyed the read and especially the way the author ended it. The two worlds and families collide with such an intensity that the repercussions are felt over decades. The power struggle takes place within the community and both families, the caul baby is the powerful element that will either split them apart or finally draw them together.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Jerkins, the story is emotionally fraught, energetic and yet at the same time incredibly moving.

Buy Caul Baby at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Harper pub date 6 April 2021. Buy at Amazon com. At Waterstones.

No comments:

Post a Comment