1912 British Guiana, South America. Sisters Winnie and Yoyo have been brought up in a priilaged world on the sugar plantation Promised Land. But things have changed; their father is in prison, Winnie has disgraced her family by marrying George, a black postman from the slums of Georgetown, and Yoyo has married for convenience so she can run the family business.
Yoyo may have wealth and a beautiful home but is jealous of the love between George and Winnie. Used to getting her own way, Yoko decides to take what Winnie holds dear no matter what the consequences.
This novel is full of emotion; betrayal, temptation, love, anger, but most of all it is about forgiveness. The novel is voiced by the four main characters, Winnie, Yoyo, George and Ruth, Winnie and Yoyo’s mother. This gives the narrative balance as we see the main storyline from the view of all those concerned. The characters themselves are multi layered which gives them credibility. Yoyo, who comes across as spoiled and vindictive, also has a side that makes the reader empathise with her.
As well as good characterisation, the sights and sounds of British Guiana are evoked through the detailed descriptive prose. There is also a good amount of historical detail.
When I started this book I didn’t realise it was the second in a series about Winnie and George, but do not let this put you off as it can be read as a stand alone novel, I didn’t feel I needed to read the previous book to understand the plot. I will however look out for the sequel as I would like to find out what happens to Winnie, George and Yoyo.
Overall a good book with great historical detail.