A review by haricots
The Bread the Devil Knead, by Lisa Allen-Agostini

  • 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 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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