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Publisher's Summary

Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle - of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a “true” Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother’s rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too “faas” or too “quiet” or too “bold” or too “soft”. In “Little Jamaica”, Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood, Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these 12 interconnected stories. We see her on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig’s head in her great aunt’s freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother’s house, trying to cope with the ongoing battles between her unyielding grandparents.

A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control and teasing play can turn to something much darker. In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations and black identity and predominately white society. 

©2019 Zalika Reid-Benta (P)2020 Anansi Audio

What listeners say about Frying Plantain

Average Customer Ratings
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Loved every minute of it

I really loved this book! I grew up in and around the areas Reid-Benta described, and listening to the audiobook filled me with such nostalgia. She captures very authentic and relatable moments of Caribbean family life, and specifically, that life here in Toronto. The narrator, Ordena Stephens-Thompson, really brought the story to life. I was sad any time I had to pause this book, finishing it quickly. I highly recommend it, especially to those of us in the Caribbean diaspora.

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Great book!

I listened to the story with my mother she loved the narrator. I connected with Kara's West Indian upbringing love (physical) is often not shared among parents/family. However love from your parents/family in West Indian culture is provided in other ways.

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This was an excellent book

i really enjoyed this book. finished it in 2 days. cant wait for the next one!

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kenice
  • 2021-02-25

I love the narrator.

I'm a Jamaican and I can say this book is well done , I listen to it on audible and the patios was was great.
Jamaican mother's or older woman always act as if a male look at you you will just suddenly fall pregnant. They never want to educated you about anything around sex but instead take the route of punishment for anything they suspect you might be doing.its a know thing that Jamaican parents rather grow their children to fear them rather than love them and the cycle seems to continue because people who are loved incorrectly can't suddenly know how to love properly.
Jamaican mom's can be so petty and it's pretty obvious that Verna (the Grand mother) is suffering from some sort of mental illness she doesn't even know about.

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  • OwlLover
  • 2020-07-23

Realistic voice, interesting stories

I enjoy short stories that are woven together almost like a novel, but not quite, so I was delighted to come across this. The main character is clearly presented and her voice, as a not-so-strong character, is strong. It is interesting to see her navigate life, trying to straddle the line between respect for others and being true to herself, and she often defaulted to deference. The mother and grandmother somehow hardened by life and have their own struggles, but also capable of showing love when they really want to. The stories are told well and no reader is likely to want to stop at just one or two. The narration is great.

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  • arg
  • 2020-02-26

poor Nanah

I feel so sorry for the grandmother at the end I wanted to jump in the book story and keep her company