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Download The Star Side of Bird Hill Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Star Side of Bird Hill, by Naomi Jackson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Naomi Jackson Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Two sisters are suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother, in this stunning debut novel.

This lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah. Dionne spends the summer in search of love, testing her grandmother’s limits, and wanting to go home. Phaedra explores Bird Hill, where her family has lived for generations, accompanies her grandmother in her role as a midwife, and investigates their mother’s mysterious life. This tautly paced coming-of-age story builds to a crisis when the father they barely know comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and both Phaedra and Dionne must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the Barbados of their family. Jackson’s Barbados and her characters are singular, especially the wise Hyacinth and the heartbreaking young Phaedra, who is coming into her own as a young woman amid the tumult of her family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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…A gem of a book. Grade: A.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The evocation of the island is romantic and alive…Jackson renders [the characters’] inner lives effectively.”

    New Yorker

  • “A serious yet effervescent debut that showcases three generations of women as they grapple with conflict and loss.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “With a voice that can shift from the liquid brown sugar of Barbados to Brooklyn’s assertive nasal tones, Robin Miles offers a pitch-perfect reading…Miles uses a slight change of pace to signal the scenes of memory set in Brooklyn. And she handles shifts in perspective and tone beautifully…as well as offering believable sound portraits of the men in their lives. What a pleasure. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “The writing is especially fine, with even minor characters benefiting from Jackson’s lyrical descriptions.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Jackson’s story becomes stronger and stronger as we get to know these characters. The themes she touches on—mental illness, immigration, motherhood, sexual awakening—are potent and deftly juggled.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rich in the aspect and feel of the Caribbean…An uplifting story about the importance of a stable, loving home and the embrace of one’s culture.”

    Booklist

  • “Many moments of awareness…permeate this delightful debut novel…populated with engaging, well-drawn characters.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick
  • A 2015 John Leonard Prize Shortlist Selection
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About the Author

Naomi Jackson was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded the Maytag Fellowship for Excellence in Fiction to complete her first novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill. Jackson traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, Jackson has had her work appear in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad.