IS RECOMMENDED BYENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / THE BBC / THE HUFFINGTON POST / KIRKUS REVIEWS / TRAVEL & LEISURE / ELLEPUBLISHERS WEEKLY / OPRAH.COM / GAWKER / MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO / BUSTLE / FOR HARRIET
Recalling Toni Morrison’s Love, this work will appeal to fans of African American and literary fiction.
An engrossing and poignant coming-of-age story populated with engaging, well-drawn characters.
Naomi Jackson has written a tender novel exploring the complexities of motherhood and childhood. The Star Side of Bird Hill holds together opposing elements—the book is quiet in the telling, but the story being told is sharp and vibrant. It is as much a story of the fears of childhood as it is a story about welcoming old age with optimism. A book that knows death and discovery. A book laced with pain but shimmering with hope. With care, the narrative addresses huge issues such as mental illness, mortality, sexuality and, at its very core, what it means to love another person as they are.
PRAISE for “Ladies”: Ladies’ is a wonder of a story. It effortlessly bridges countries and generations, time frames and points of view. Featuring rich, precise language and beautiful imagery, it touches on themes of colonialism, gender, and social mobility. But ultimately it’s a love story, and what a romance it is—full of humor and heart, longing and loss, with an ending that’s both redemptive and heartbreaking.
Once in a while, you’ll stumble onto a book like this, one so poetic in its descriptions and so alive with lovable, frustrating, painfully real characters, that your emotional response to it becomes almost physical...Jackson’s exquisite prose is a marvel too. Star Side is a gem of a book.
The Star Side of Bird Hill reads as if we’re let in on a sometimes wonderful, sometimes thrilling, sometimes terrible secret. It’s the unwritten history of women without men, of girls in conflict with themselves and the damage—and healing that can come from the same place: Family.
Naomi Jackson packs a hell of a lot of love and death and magic into this wonderful debut. The Star Side of Bird Hill travels between Barbados and Brooklyn telling the story of a family, and a people, who move between worlds and worldviews. But really this is the story of one young girl named Phaedra who is trying her best in a world that doesn’t always see the best in her. There are touches of Jamaica Kincaid and J.D. Salinger here, but Naomi Jackson is an artist all her own.