The Bread the Devil Knead
Alethea Lopez is about to turn 40. A fashionable, mixed-race boutique manager who lives and works in Trinidad's capital city, Port of Spain, she is feisty, fiercely independent and morally ambiguous. Her secrets show only in her bruised skin and the occasional glimpse into her shattered sense of self.
When Alethea witnesses a woman murdered by her jealous lover, her eyes are opened to the lives of the women all around her: from her colleague Tamika, who is engaged to marry an unfaithful man, and her childhood best friend Jankie, the teenage bride of their PE teacher, to her own mother, Marcia, who allowed her daughter to be sexually abused in exchange for the family's financial and emotional stability. In first-person Creole, Alethea brings us her truth in an arresting, unsparing Trinidadian voice. As her story unfolds, we see her navigate a dangerous path between her abusive partner Leo, a failed musician who wants to own her body and soul, and the spineless boss she sleeps with only to preserve her personal power.
But when she is reunited with her adopted brother, decades after they parted, memories and family secrets begin to unlock and she starts to understand the person she has become. Alethea's next step is to decide on the woman she wants to be.
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Lisa Allen-Agostini is a writer, editor and stand-up comedian from Trinidad and Tobago. The Bread the Devil Knead is her first adult novel. She is the author of a poetry collection, Swallowing the Sky, as well as two Young Adult novels, The Chalice Project and Home Home, winner of a CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. She is the co-editor of an anthology Trinidad Noir, and writes and performs stand-up comedy as ‘Just Lisa’ with her company FemCom TT.2021
Modern Fiction and Literary Fiction