Hurricane Summer | Asha Bromfield


Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

Out Now from Wednesday Books; 400 pages

Content Warnings: rape, sexual assault, racism, colorism, incest, child neglect, slut-shaming, bullying, colonialism, natural disaster, mental and emotional abuse, physical abuse, manipulation, classism, cheating, abandonment, drowning, religious discussions, gaslighting, death, off-page drowning, off-page car accident, mentions of cancer 

About the Author: “Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, baking vegan desserts, and taking walks to the park with her dogs Luka and Kyra. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.” (Bio taken from the Macmillan website.) 

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“My heart is so full. This is where I come from. I am born of these mountains and trees. Of this calming water and sky.”

Tilla is a girl yearning for her father who leaves his family in Canada every six months to return to his home in Jamaica. However, Tilla just might get the chance to connect with her father when her mother tells her she will be spending the summer on the island, accompanied by her younger sister Mia. While she dreads the trip, she hopes to uncover what beckons her father towards Jamaica—and farther and farther away from her. Suddenly, the summer promises a hurricane, and Tilla is thrust into the unraveling of her family’s secrets. She must confront the storm brewing both inside and outside of her. 

Hurricane Summer is a new all-time favorite of mine for the ways that it is devastating, turbulent, and absolutely gorgeous. The main character Tilla reflects so many girls, like myself, who were shunned as they entered womanhood and whose sexuality was criminalized. I applaud Bromfield for her poetic prose and the way that she confronts classism, colorism, and sexism as it permeates through several communities, including the one Tilla and her family inhabit. Noting the community, I adore the way that the setting is described throughout the book. Jamaica is portrayed as vibrant, vast, and engrossing. So many of the characters are complex, and one of my favorites is Andre, by far. He is a beacon of positivity and light, and I loved his character so dearly. I am someone who loves family dynamics, and I was unprepared for such a fantastic read about love, acceptance, and seeking approval. Tilla is definitely a character I will hold with me for years to come because of how much I regard her journey to both self-discovery and self-love. I also deeply appreciate the way that patois was integral to the voice of the cast of characters throughout the novel; no lesson was spoon-fed to Tilla or to us readers. Each person is sure to take a different component of the story and grow with it. Something great about the book is how it can move easily from audacious adventure to soft, intimate moments. The final line of the novel is still stuck in my head, leaving me dying to read another piece from the multi-talented Asha Bromfield. Thank you for bringing me to tears and for putting your heart and experiences on the page. 

PRR Writer, Jackie Balbastro