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This lyrical novel of community, betrayal and love centres on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from their US home in Brooklyn and sent to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother realises she can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.