Lead Review

  • Book: When Life Gives You Mangoes
  • Location: Jamaica
  • Author: Kereen Getten

Review Author: tripfiction



It is the Summer holiday and Clara is kicking around for something to do. She spends a lot of time with her friend Gaynah and they are off doing what little girls do – eating mangoes when no-one is looking, going to the beach, picking leaves, and finding new games to play. There is fishing with her father and learning to surf. Then, a new girl from London – Rudy – arrives and dynamics change for the young children. Gaynah recedes into the background whilst Clara and Rudy bond and find their own adventures.

There is however the cloud that hangs over Clara. Something happened last Summer and she cannot recall what, but it affects her even now.

Up on the hill is a large house, inhabited by Clara’s uncle but the word has been put about that people are not to associate with him. However, no-one will spell out why. As a hurricane heads towards the island, the children start to unravel the mystery of last Summer.

This is so much a story of friendship, loss and difference. And it is also a story of Jamaica. A lovely novel for children to pick up for an immersive trip into another culture. A great choice for #WorldKidLit month (September), encouraging children to read beyond their own borders. A great children’s novel set in Jamaica.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021