I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for unforgettable and heartrending historical novel The Attic Child by Lola Jaye.. Thank you to Anne Cater and Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to read and review this stunning book.
About the book:
Two children separated by almost a century, bound by a secret…
1907: Twelve-year-old Celestine spends most of his time locked in an attic room of a large house by the sea. Taken from his homeland and treated as an unpaid servant, he dreams of his family in Africa even if, as the years pass, he struggles to remember his mother’s face, and sometimes his real name.
Almost a century later, Lowra, a young orphan girl born into wealth and privilege, will find herself banished to the same attic. Lying under the floorboards of the room is an old porcelain doll, an unusual beaded claw necklace and, most curiously, a sentence etched on the wall behind an old cupboard, written in an unidentifiable language. Artefacts that will offer her a strange kind of comfort, and lead her to believe that she was not the first child to be imprisoned there . . .
This is a hauntingly powerful, emotionally charged and unique dual-narrative novel about family secrets, love and loss, identity and belonging, seen through the lens of Black British History.
About the author:
LOLA JAYE is an author and registered psychotherapist. She was born and raised in London and has lived in Nigeria and the United States. She has a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling. She has contributed to the sequel to the bestseller Lean In, penned by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and has also written for the Huffington Post, CNN, Essence, HuffPost and the BBC.
She is a member of the Black Writers’ Guild and the author of five previous novels. The Attic Child is her first epic historical novel.
You can find Lola on Twitter @LolaJaye
Oh my goodness, what a superb, beautifully written and moving historical novel The Attic Child by Lola Jaye is! An epic tale spanning almost a century, it is an extraordinary and thought provoking story that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.
First we meet Dikembe, a young boy living with his family in the Congo in 1903. Here he lives a sheltered life, kept away from the horrors that his father and older brothers endure, kept within the safety of the arms of his loving mother. But then everything changes and Dikembe finds himself torn away from his family and travelling to a far away land with a strange pale faced man. Now known as Celestine, he must navigate his way through a new world he knows very little about.
We then move forward to 1993 where we are introduced to our second narrator, Lowra, a young woman who is about to be confronted by a past she has been trying to escape from since she was a little girl. The attic room of a large house by the sea links the two children together as we move backwards and forwards through the years, the stories of both Celestine and Lowra slowly and horrifyingly revealed piece by piece…
The Attic Child is a haunting read that made me feel sick to the stomach at times, breaking my heart into a million pieces. Told through the lens of Black British History, Dikembe’s story is an important one that needed to be told. Lola Jaye has written a shockingly powerful and moving novel that left me feeling broken before somehow managing to put me back together again, as the missing pieces of the puzzle are finally slotted into place.
No review I could write would ever be able to do this remarkable book justice. I’m filled with emotion every time I think of it, from anger at what Dikembe, Lowra and many, many children the world over have had to endure, to admiration at the resilience of the human spirit and then, finally, to an overwhelming feeling of hope as I turned the final page.
The Attic Child is a stunning and unforgettable read that will stay with me always.
A historical novel unlike any I’ve ever read before and one that I would highly recommend.
The Attic Child by Lola Jaye is available to purchase now:
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