Synopsis[ edit ] Book 1. Silla is a strict, no-nonsense woman whose goal is to save enough money to purchase the brownstone they are leasing. Deighton is lackadaisical, impulsive, and he frequently cheats on his wife. His dreams of returning to Barbados and his frivolousness are a source of tension between Silla and him. Deighton inherits a piece of land; Silla wants him to sell it so they can buy the brownstone, but Deighton has fantasies about moving back and building an extravagant house. Suggie Skeete, Miss Mary, and Miss Thompson are a few other characters who appear sporadically; Selina goes to them for companionship and advice.
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The brownstones of the title are the houses which members of the community aspire to owning. It is a coming of age novel and revolves around Selina Boyce and her mother Silla; two wonderfully created characters who are the most memorable parts of the novel. Silla has very clear aims for her daughters and for her 4. Silla has very clear aims for her daughters and for her own life; owning a brownstone being a priority.
Remember how you used to talk about how you left home and came here alone as a girl of eighteen and was your own woman? I used to love hearing that. I want it! It was as if she somehow glimpsed in Selina the girl she had always been. He is a great disappointment to Silla. He is charming but insubstantial. He wants to return to Barbados, but Silla has her heart set on staying and buying a brownstone. She gets her wish, but at a price. The whole damn thing is so twisted now, so deep seated; the color black is such a hell of a powerful symbol, who can tell…some of them probably still see in each of us the black moor tupping their white ewe, or some legendary beast coming out at night and the fens to maraud and rape.
The evil. I want them to be central characters. Women in fiction seldom are. Traditionally in most fiction men are the wheelers and dealers. They are the ones in whom power is invested. I wanted to turn that around. I wanted women to be the centers of power.
My feminism takes its expression through my work. Women are central for me. They can as easily embody the power principles as a man.
Brown Girl, Brownstones