I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for When Life Gives You Mangoes by debut author Kereen Getten. Thank you to Poppy Stimpson and Pushkin Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautifully written children’s book.
About the book:
A summer she can’t remember
A friendship she won’t forget
Nothing much happens in Sycamore, the small village where Clara lives – at least, that’s how it seems. She loves eating ripe mangoes fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to her secret hideout with her best friend Gaynah. There’s only one problem: she can’t remember anything about the previous summer.
When a quirky girl called Rudy arrives from England, everything starts to change. Gaynah stops acting like a best friend, while Rudy and Clara roam across the island and uncover an old family secret. As the summer reaches its peak and the island storms begin, Clara’s memory starts to return and she must finally face the truth of what happened last year.
About the author:
Kereen Getten grew up in Jamaica. She now lives in Birmingham with her family and writes stories about her childhood experiences. When Life Gives You Mangoes is her debut novel.
Visit her on Twitter @kereengetten or on Instagram @Kezywrites.
When Life Gives You Mangoes by debut author Kereen Getten is about twelve year old Clara who lives in a small village on an island with her parents. She lives a simple life, eating ripe mangoes that have fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to a secret hideaway with Gaynah, the girl who has been her best friend since she was small.
But then everything changes when a new girl called Rudy arrives from England. Gaynah no longer acts like the best friend she once was and the two girls find themselves arguing where once there would have been laughter. So Clara finds herself gravitating more and more towards Rudy, the two girls roaming across the island as an old family secret begins to emerge.
Clara is puzzled to find herself unable to remember anything from the previous summer, which causes her to clash with Gaynah when she teases her about it. What happened last year? And why can’t Clara remember? As the island storms begin, Clara’s foggy memory begins to clear and she must finally face up to the truth of what happened to change her from the happy go lucky girl she once was.
I was intrigued by this beautifully written story and had no idea in which direction the story would go. The truth, when it came, took me completely by surprise and shocked me to the core. Although marketed as a book for children, I think the themes of loss and friendship in When Life Gives You Mangoes would appeal to readers of all ages. Kereen Getten’s writing is powerfully emotive, with warm and realistic characters that come to life on the page. A truly captivating story that stays with you long after the final page has been turned.
An impressive debut that I would recommend.
When Life Gives You Mangoes is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
Follow along with the blog tour to see what these other fabulous bloggers have to say about this book: