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

12 July 2021 - 21:26 By Monique Verduyn

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...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.