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A Cupboard Full of Coats [Paperback]

Yvvette Edwards
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 4.63  
Paperback 6.29  
Paperback, 14 April 2011 9.24  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 14.65  
Audio Download, Unabridged 11.40 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

14 April 2011
It's been fourteen years since Jinx's mother was brutally stabbed to death in their home in East London. Fourteen years for Jinx to become accustomed to the huge weight of guilt and anger that has destroyed her life. Fourteen years to nurture an impossible shame. Out of nowhere, Lemon arrives on her doorstep. An old friend of her mother's, he wants to revisit the events leading to that terrible night, and Jinx sees the opportunity to confess, finally, her hand in the violence. But Lemon has his own secrets to share, and over the course of one weekend they strip away the layers of the past to lay bare a story full of jealousy and tragic betrayal. Narrated with a distinct and fiery spice, Jinx and Lemon must find their own paths to redemption in this stunning debut novel.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; 1st Edition edition (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851687971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851687978
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One to watch. --Daily Mail

A novel that pulses with rhythm, texture, language, and a story that keeps you locked to its pages. Brutally honest, expertly woven, and utterly mesmerizing. I loved this book. --Naseem Rakha, author of the international bestseller The Crying Tree

A gut-wrenching and gorgeously lyrical debut... Engrossing and human to the core, Edwards's novel wrings the heart in the most tender of ways. --Publishers Weekly

"With great courage, both physical and political, Anderson reveals in stark detail the absence of genuine contact between the foreign armies and the civilians they claim to be helping... gripping and disturbing." Jonathan Steele, former Chief Foreign Correspondent for the Guardian

About the Author

Yvvette Edwards lives with her family in East London. A Cupboard Full of Coats is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and thought provoking 17 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
A cupboard full of coats is an intense, thought provoking story of jealousy, domestic violence and guilt.
Set in London's East End, the story is told by Jinxy, a thirty year old mother who is unable to relate to her five year old son. It is told in two time strands - the present time over a few days, plus flashbacks to the time leading up to Jinxy's mother's death fourteen years ago.
Guilt has dogged her as she feels that her own jealousy made her partly responsible for her mother's violent death at the hands of a jealous partner. When the ex-partner is released from prison, his old friend Lemon visits Jinxy to admit his own guilt for his part in her mother's death. Over a few days, Lemon takes on the role of apologist wanting to be absolved from blame. However the relationship between Jinxy and Lemon is a complex one and eventually Lemon acts as fairy godmother before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
The dark secrets at the heart of the story are leavened by sensuous descriptions of the luxury "guilt" coats in her mother's cupboard and sumptuous details of West Indian meals.
Dark and complex jealousies contrasted with beauty, devotion and passion make this a fascinating story with depths that appeal on many levels. The two timescales can be irritating as it interrupts the intensity, but it does work as a device for creating tension while unravelling secrets from the past.
I hadn't realised when I read the book that it had been nominated for the Booker prize. It's definitely a very worthwhile read - Yvette Roberts has created an impressive debut novel.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real people 22 Aug 2011
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A Cupboard Full of Coats is an interesting novel which does well (for the most part) to steer clear of stereotypes.

It is set in multi-racial East London where many people have mixed heritage and skin colour matters - especially to young people. The novel follows the story of Jinxy, both in the present day as her life in interrupted by a visit from Lemon, an older man from Montserrat, whom she remembers as the friend of Berris, the man her mother invited into her life many years earlier.

Told in twin timelines, Jinxy unpicks both the devastation that her mother's relationship with Berris brought to bear and also the bones the bones of her adult life, lonely and enduring a failing relationship with her son. Within these timelines, the narrative is erratic and non-linear. Frequently Jinxy will drop a bombshell as though everyone knew it, only to explain the situation some time later.

The narrative has a real intensity; the pressure of a long conversation spread over a weekend wit only Jinxy and Lemon present to offer their differing perspectives. Moreover, the two have a chemistry between them which may not be entirely healthy.

As far as breaking away from stereotypes, Jinxy is not on the breadline; she has steady work in dressing and presenting bodies, working with various funeral parlours. Money is not an issue; rather than yet another book about sleeping in coalsacks, we have designer products, lotions and potions, fur coats and frequent references to cooking sumptuous Caribbean food. This gives the characters the opportunity to explore their personal relationships and flawed personalities.

Yet for all the complexity, A Cupboard Full Of Coats doesn't always hit the right note.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Jackie
A Cupboard Full of Coats is an emotional book describing the life of Jinx, a woman haunted by the thought that she was partly responsible for the murder of her mother.

Jinx suffered from a violent childhood and finds it hard to connect with her five-year-old son. I found their endless misunderstandings heart-breaking to read:

"I caught up with him he had ripped three or four heads off the crocuses planted along the thin bed that ran the length of the path from the gate to the door.
`Ben, don't do that please,' I said as he started tearing off another. Ignoring me, he yanked it off anyway, adding it to the collection in his other hand.
`Will you bloody stop!' I said.
When he looked at me, those enormous eyes were filled with tears. He held out his hand. His voice was tiny. `These are for you,' he said.
And I looked at the small, fresh, squashed bouquet held out to me, and for a second I could have taken his gift and smiled, then cuddled and whispered to my son, Forgive me. I love you.
But the words that came out of my mouth instead were:
`Great! Why don't you kill every single flower you can see?"

I was gripped by this book from the very first page. I flew through it, desperate to know what part Jinx had played in the murder of her mother and how everything would be resolved.

I found the characters well formed and realistic, and the descriptions of life as a Caribbean in East London were evocative and atmospheric. Details of food preparation were particularly mouth-watering.

The writing isn't perfect and I spotted a few typographical errors (for example, see the first line of the quote) but I was so absorbed in the story that these didn't bother me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Kept me intrigued to the end
Published 10 days ago by annie mccabe
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I waited for this book to "go somewhere". I'd read all of the reviews and most of them were really good and don't get me wrong its ok but nothing special.
Published 2 months ago by H. S. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality and honesty of character.
I loved this book. It was an intriguing and moving story with a reality and honesty about it that was refreshing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MISS RA DURBER
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling
I loved this book, the author cleverly held back little tit-bits of information and then suddenly revealed them with fantastic timing, one of the best written books I have read in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by wendyh
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Thoroughly enjoyable and at times challenging, a cupboard full of coats is a deeply personal journey of atonement and ultimately forgiveness. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars im so glad I bought it
It was difficult to get into, but after the 1st chapter it was difficult to put the book down... enjoyable
Published 9 months ago by miss heather johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cupboard Full of Coats
A Cupboard Full of Coats was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2011 (in fact it's the fourth from that year's list I have read- a rare thing for me), and I can see why critics... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lucybird
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cupboard Full of Coats
Enjoyable reading though lots of sadness, misunderstanding and intrigue - however it becomes clear later on as events are eventually explained.
Published 11 months ago by Audrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative writing
This is a story about how decisions can impact people's lives and reverberate down the years through generations. Read more
Published 13 months ago by S J F
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and pretty compelling
Fourteen years after the murder of her mother the main character appears cold, but in fact is burdened with suppressed emotions of loss and guilt. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J Hutch
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