Lola Jaye: The Attic Child - JHALAK PRIZE 2023 LONGLIST NOMINEE
JHALAK PRIZE 2023 LONGLIST NOMINEE
‘An incredibly important book . . . a beautifully crafted, compelling story . . . which will undoubtedly break your heart but also make it sing’ - Mike Gayle
Two children trapped in the same attic, almost a century apart, 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 . . .
Decades 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 . . .
Lola Jaye has created 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 in The Attic Child.
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