Debut novels – every writer has one.

Finding a new author can be thrilling, disappointing, tentative, persuasive, exciting and a heap of other choices.  In A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards we have a new voice, a brilliant tale – well told and all the anticipation of the novels to come. The double-v is not a spelling error, by the way.

Yvvette Edwards grew up in Hackney, and this is a novel that is fixed nicely into its locale, the characters are people that you will know.  Yvvette still lives in East London with her family and this is her first novel.

I am not going to say anything more about the story than that it is told from the point of view of a young girl growing up in a single-parent home until she is about 14.  Her mum then finds a new man and with him comes a childhood friend, Lemon.  Fourteen years later, over the course of one weekend, Lemon turns up at the house and between them they turn back to the memories that they share, painfully and truthfully they uncover the details that lie behind Jinx’s story.  Not only is this a great story, it is interspersed with sumptuous, hot, spicy meals prepared during the unburdening. And the coats…

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