Tuesday 25 May 2021

#BlogTour This Other Island by Steffanie Edward

It's truly a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour This Other Island by Steffanie Edward. 

About the Author

Steffanie Edward was born in St Lucia, brought up in London and now straddles between the two.

Anancy, Crick-crick and other Caribbean folk stories have been a part of her life since childhood. In her late teens she enjoyed reading Susan Howatch and books on slavery. Her absolute favourite reads have been Wild Seed by Octavia E Bulter, and Woman At Point Zero by Naawal El Saadawi.

Her writing career started with short stories, five of which have been published. Her first attempt at writing a novel was over twenty years ago, whilst living and working in Abu Dhabi. That novel, Yvette, didn’t make it into print, but the main protagonist, Yvette, has muscled her way into Steffanie’s debut novel, This Other Island. Follow @EdwardsaEdward on Twitter, Visit saedward.com

About the book

Things between me and Papa are so different to what me and Mum have. It’s been that way since the first day. An invisible bond. Papa was the one who never stopped encouraging me to strive for my goals. ‘Take every opportunity dis country give you, ich mwen,’ he’d always said…

When Yvette receives a call to say her estranged father Joe has been attacked in a seemingly random act of violence, she rushes to his side. She’d stayed with her mother after her parents separated, but never forgot her father’s kind and caring ways. Memories of his wide smile and loving embraces – so different to her mother Doli – have always sustained her.

But when she arrives, ready to make peace and help him in any way she can, she finds a man different to the larger-than-life father she remembers. Joe is fighting for his life, but is also haunted by memories of his past. He begs Yvette to help him find out the truth…

About the journey that brought him and a beautiful young woman called Doli together, as they both travelled – as part of the Windrush Generation, to start new lives in Britain. About the lives they left behind in St Lucia. And about a dark secret – one that he has carried with him since stepping off the ship that wet and chilly August day. That threatened his and Doli’s marriage from the very beginning…

Only Yvette can find out what really happened on that crossing. Because, for forty years, Joe has believed that he killed a man. A man who had had feelings for Doli too. And who – as Joe knows – might hold the key to Yvette’s own story…

What follows is a heart-stopping debut novel about family, identity, secrets, lies, and the journeys that define us. It will grip you, challenge you, and ultimately break you into a thousand pieces. Perfect for fans of Small Island and Girl, Woman, Other.


Told by mother and daughter it's a story of family, complicated relationships and of betrayal. Also one of new beginnings and pining for lives left behind.

The reader gets a hint of what is really at the core of this story towards the very beginning when the return of Yvette to her family goes hand in hand with a change in name. It solidifies the before and after aspect of her life or perhaps the duality of it. The duality that exists within the majority of those who leave their homes and country to seek a better way of life elsewhere. Forever linked to the past and eager not to let that aspect of themselves, their culture and identity be swallowed up by the new life and culture, perhaps even more so when the new life means acclimatising to a predominantly white culture and society.

I can imagine there is always this feeling of both nostalgia and acknowledgement that no matter how immersed in the new country and society, it isn't home and the new neighbours never let you forget it. Nothing makes this point with more noise than the way the Windrush generation have been treated by the British government.

Which brings us to the duality of identity when it comes to race and skin colour, because the tiers created by colonialism and white supremacy are ingrained in the very fabric of society. 

It's in this backdrop that the story of identity, connection and family is set. It very much mirrors whether we are driven, formed and ultimately take our place amongst others based on the strength of nature or nurture.

This is a debut novel novel - it's evident that Edward has opened the door here and there an inch, which has culminated in a complex and yet realistic image of dysfunctional family reality. I say open the floodgates and let's hear what really wants to come alive and be seen in the open. I'll be looking forward to see where she takes us next.

Buy This Other Island at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bookouture pub date 21 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

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