Barbados — paradise for some, not for others
‘How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House’ is a visceral novel of love, patriarchy and self-determination
Women and girls have been told how to behave since the stone age. In How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House, the debut novel by Barbadian lawyer Cherie Jones, the titular “one-armed sister” is drawn from a cautionary folk tale.
A village vicar had two beautiful daughters, but only one was gifted with good sense; “the other one was own-way and like to give the mother mouth”. The girls were warned to stay away from a dark tunnel where only bad men go. The “slack-from-she-born, force-ripe sister” decided to explore the tunnel to see where it led; the monster in the tunnel took her arm and she was left with an unsightly stump to remind her of the price of wickedness...