Reviews tagging Pedophilia

The Bread the Devil Knead, by Lisa Allen-Agostini

28 reviews

katesmithfilm's review

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dark emotional hopeful reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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rebekah_florence's review

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challenging dark reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

“And I not dead. I still here. And people love me.”  The Bread the Devil Knead’s Aletheia is a character that, throughout reading the novel, reminded me of The Color Purple’s Celie.  I like that the Allen-Agostini splits of especially heavy chapters of text by interspersing chapters of flashbacks from Alethea’s childhood.  I could see that she’s truly been fighting and burdened her whole life.  When Aletheia has moments of happiness, I wished that those could continue forever.  I felt, however, that I didn’t get to know Alethea that well.  Perhaps that was intentional, as we know that it’s difficult for her to have her own life, but I longed to feel more connected to the character.  This was not only my first Carribean author, but also my first book written in Trinidadian Creole.  I’m inspired to read more books in dialect, and further, learn more about various Caribbean cultures.  

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mcc's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

3.0

This book needs a lot of content warnings, because, you name it, it's in it. Beautifully written from a prose point of view, but overly simplistic from a plot point of view. The main character escapes her cycle of abuse because 2 people from her past wind up popping out of nowhere within 24 hours of each other and suddenly give her a magical support network, then instead of helping her leave her abuser, he is conveniently
Spoiler killed
and she is left free. So I didnt like how there was no empowerment of the main character and she just got ridiculously lucky by fate throwing all of these things in her lap in the matter of a few weeks. This was unbelievable so made the story much less powerful for me.

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mganallirt's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75


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haricots's review against another edition

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  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

⭐️ 4.5 stars
A beautifully written book about intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, and identity. This book has a strong narrator’s voice, and really envelops the reader inside the story. Each character that gets reintroduced to the narrator's life, from the same original area, has had a completely different life trajectory and we see this all through the eyes of Alethea, the narrator. I found it very intriguing to experience the events that occur from Alethea’s perspective, and feel her reactions and criticisms. The subtle commentary on tourism, class, race, and privilege was extremely thought provoking. Throughout the novel the reader learns about Alethea’s past and context, and the intergenerational trauma that she has inherited. 

I felt this book was more valuable for the characters introduced, and the way interactions between them occur, than for the plot necessarily. However, that’s not to say that the plot was irrelevant. 

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geraldinerowe's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Wow. I'm not sure how a story so harrowing can also be so tender, endearing and heartwarming. It tears at your emotions from beginning to end. This book will stay with me for some time.

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hannah_cmass's review

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challenging dark mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character

3.75


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rincey's review

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emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


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deedireads's review

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dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.

TL;DR REVIEW:

The Bread the Devil Knead is a well-written but very heavy novel about cycles of generational trauma and childhood and domestic abuse. I appreciated it and respect it, but I can’t quite say I enjoyed it.

For you if: You’re interested in reading books set in Trinidad, and/or about the traps of abuse.

FULL REVIEW:

I picked up The Bread the Devil Knead because it was shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize. While I’m glad that I read it, and I definitely appreciate and respect it, the brutality of the subject matter makes me not quite able to say that I enjoyed it. (TW: domestic abuse ahead)

Set in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the story is about a woman named Alethea. Having run away from an abusive household before bouncing from one bad boyfriend situation to another, she now manages a clothing shop while hiding the bruises her current boyfriend leaves her with. Two things happen to set the story in motion: one, she reconnects with her cousin (who she essentially raised as a baby brother), and two, a woman is shot and killed by a jealous boyfriend outside her shop. We also get flashbacks to her childhood, and new family secrets play into her consideration of whether she is in danger herself, whether she does or doesn’t want a change, and how much to let her friends into her life.

One thing I think this book did very well was to fully capture both Alethea and Port of Spain. I was really glad for the opportunity to read a novel written not only in Trinidad, but largely in a Trinidadian dialect. Alethea is a complex character, and the inside of her mind as we witness the impact of domestic abuse and generational trauma was very well done.

There were two main things that I didn’t quite love, though: First, there is a flashback scene toward the end of the book that, in my opinion, didn’t add anything but brutality. We as readers already knew that the events of the flashback had happened, and I didn’t feel like I needed to actually see it to understand its implication. Second, I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but I guess I’ll just say that it didn’t feel like it worked as hard as I’d hoped it might.

There are definitely aspects of this novel worthy of being read; just know going in that it’s a tough one.

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tina94's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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