The Opposite House

The Opposite House

3.35 (536 ratings by Goodreads)
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Maja Carmen Carrera was only five years old when her black Cuban family emigrated from the Caribbean to London, leaving her with one complete memory: a woman singing - in a voice both eerie and enthralling - at their farewell party, while little Maja peered out from beneath a table. Now, almost twenty years later, Maja herself is a singer, in love with Aaron, pregnant and haunted by what she calls 'her Cuba'. Growing up in London, she has struggled to negotiate her history and the sense that speaking the Spanish or the English of her people's conquistadors made her less of a black girl. But she is unable to find in herself the Ewe, Igbo, or Swahili of her roots. It seems all that's left is silence. Maja's mother finds solace and identity in her faith, burning paper flowers in front of her shrine and its Yoruba gods, while her father rails against his wife's superstitions and the lost dreams of the Castro revolution. And sweet, serious Tomas, the fifteen-year-old 'London Baby', runs away from the bullies at school on quicksilver feet. On the other side of the reality wall, Yemaya Saramagua, Yemaya of the ocean, lives in the Somewherehouse with two doors: one opening to London, the other to Lagos. Yemaya is troubled by the ease with which her fellow gods have disguised themselves as saints and reappeared under different names and faces. The Opposite House is about the disquiet that follows us across places and languages, a feeling passed down from mother and father to son and daughter. It is an unforgettable second novel from the author of The Icarus more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 144 x 218 x 30mm | 439.98g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747588848
  • 9780747588849

Review quote

'I read THE OPPOSITE HOUSE with a rare happiness. The voice in it is so sure, the risk it takes is so good and the intelligence in it is a sheer relief.' Ali Smith Praise for THE ICARUS GIRL: 'A highly auspicious fictional debut.' Sunday Times 'Flickering between viciousness and vulnerability, THE ICARUS GIRL is a compulsive, disrupting read.' Helen Brown, Daily Telegraph 'Deserving of all its praise, this is a masterly first novel.' New York Timesshow more

About Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984 and moved to London when she was four. She is the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Icarus Girl,which she wrote while she was still at school, and two plays, Juniper's Whitening and Victimese, both published by more

Rating details

536 ratings
3.35 out of 5 stars
5 15% (83)
4 27% (145)
3 39% (208)
2 15% (80)
1 4% (20)
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