Book Review: A Cupboard Full of Coats

A Cupboard Full of Coats: A NovelA Cupboard Full of Coats: A Novel by Yvvette Edwards
Publisher: Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins
Release Date: July 31, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

Plagued by guilt, paralyzed by shame, Jinx has spent the years since her mother’s death alone, estranged from her husband, withdrawn from her son, and entrenched in a childhood home filled with fierce and violent memories. When Lemon, an old family friend, appears unbidden at the door, he seduces Jinx with a heady mix of powerful storytelling and tender care. What follows is a tense and passionate weekend, as the two join forces to unravel the tragedy that binds them. Jinx has long carried the burden of the past; now, she must relive her mother’s last days, confront her grief head-on, and speak the truth as only she knows it.

This was a very dark book and Jinx was a very damaged main character and narrator. Jinx and Lemon spend the weekend sharing their perspectives on Jinx’s mother’s murder with each other. Through flashbacks, it becomes apparent how Jinx grew into such a cold, almost robotic adult. She is not a good mother and the part when her four-year old son comes over for a visit was hard to read. I was left wondering how someone like Jinx came to get married and have a son in the first place. However, the focus of this novel is the immediate time period around Jinx’s mother’s death and the weekend that Lemon comes to visit fourteen years later. I think not including much information on Jinx’s life in the time between her mother’s death and Lemon’s visit makes the weekend seem that much more intense.

Even though I didn’t really like Jinx, I thought her character was well-developed and the reasons she turned out to be such a dysfunctional adult were definitely authentic. The domestic abuse storyline was tough to read but realistic. Jinx and Lemon put each other through the wringer – their weekend together is like an intensive therapy session. I enjoyed the way the author revealed the events of the past slowly and thoroughly as Jinx and Lemon open up to each other.

The writing was beautiful yet melancholy. I can see why A Cupboard Full of Coats was longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book. Check out the other tour stops:

Monday, August 20th: M. Denise C.
Tuesday, August 21st: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, August 28th: BookNAround
Wednesday, August 29th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, August 30th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Tuesday, September 4th: Shall Write
Wednesday, September 5th: Book Dilettante
Thursday, September 6th: My Bookshelf
Monday, September 10th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Thursday, September 13th: Reads for Pleasure
Monday, September 17th: A Book Geek

Buy this book at:
Amazon Kindle Store Powell’s Books