How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A Novel (Hardcover)
"Searing . . . In affluent Baxter's Beach, the gentry of Barbados maneuver around their servants with velvet gloves and steel nerves, exposing fault lines of resentment, love as ephemeral as a tropical breeze.” (O Magazine, Most Anticipated Books of 2021)
In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It’s a cautionary tale, about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter’s Tunnels. When she’s grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven into the Tunnels by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom – and their lives.
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives, across race and class, in a rapidly changing resort town, told by an astonishing new author of literary fiction.
About the Author
Cherie S.A. Jones was born in 1974. She received a LL.B degree from the University of the West Indies, Barbados, in 1995, a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School, St. Augustine, Trinidad in 1997 and was admitted to the Bar in Barbados in October 1997. Cherie won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 1999. She won both the Archie Markham Award and the A.M. Heath Prize at Sheffield Hallam in the UK. A collection of interconnected stories set in a different small community in Barbados won a third prize at the Frank Collymore Endowment Awards in 2016. She still works as a lawyer, in addition to her writing.
“The haves and have-nots clash in Jones’s searing debut. In affluent Baxter Beach, the gentry of Barbados maneuver around their servants with velvet gloves and steel nerves, exposing fault lines of resentment, love as ephemeral as a tropical breeze.”—O Magazine
“Stunning . . . The novel pulses with brutality and runs high with emotions, offering a searing and unforgettable portrait of generational trauma, a colonialist past, and a capitalist present."—Refinery 29
“This transporting novel set in Barbados reveals the way even the most disparate lives are interconnected. It delves into wealth and class, love and crime — and the emotional turmoil that roils in a rapidly gentrifying area and the people who live there.”—Good Housekeeping
“Harrowing . . . A compelling […] story of lives defined by trauma generation after generation.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Intense . . . Rich characters and pulsing backstories add a great deal of flavor to the drama. Jones is off to a strong start.”—Publishers Weekly
“A hard-hitting and unflinching novel from a bold new writer who tackles head-on the brutal extremes of patriarchal abuse.”—Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other
“This book unfolds around the reader like ripples in water, it offers an unflinching vision of what it means to have a body and to fight to protect that body, it demands attention. These are characters voices I will be hearing for a long time and a book I will be recommending to everyone.”—Daisy Johnson, author of Sisters
“Cherie Jones’ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is an intricately plotted allegory that explores the consequences of believing that you know better than the women who made you and charts the inheritance of trauma that is all too common in Caribbean women's lives. With rare compassion and deft storytelling, Jones renders a narrative that is haunting and unforgettable.”—Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill
“A gripping thriller, a symphony of voices, and a novel of deep empathy.”—Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
“Here is a bright new star. Cherie Jones has talent abounding, drawing us with skill, delicacy and glorious style into a vortex of Bajan lives on the edge, clashing across class and color divides. This is one of the strongest, most assured and heart-wrenching debuts I have ever read.”—Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People and winner of the Orange Award for New Writers
"How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is simply brilliant. By the first chapter, it burned into my heart. Ambitious, poetic, and layered with the rich voices of its many stunning characters, this terrific debut novel by Cherie Jones opened my eyes to the many ways that her young Barbadian protagonist must fight for her life."—Lawrence Hill, author of The Illegal and The Book of Negroes