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The Worlds Within Her: A Novel

“Like route lines on an airline map, The Worlds Within Her sprawls across time and space to link different worlds in Canada, the Caribbean, and Britain. Forty-year-old Yasmin returns to her “impossibly small” island home after her mother’s death, meeting a family she hasn’t seen since she emigrated to Canada in early childhood. Her visit with her Aunt Penny and Uncle Cyril includes a series of fascinating reminiscences that illuminate the world of Yasmin’s parents–movers and shakers in island politics–during the ’40s and ’50s. She also reviews her own life in Canada through flashbacks: strained relations with her mother, a failed marriage, and professional success as a TV news anchor. The short chapters alternate between Yasmin’s journey of discovery and an extended reminiscence by her mother, Shakti, who lived in England, the Caribbean, and Canada. A brilliantly drawn character, Shakti’s a lively bundle of eccentricities, opinions, and fascinating stories. She offers compelling portraits of post-war London and of the turbulent decolonizing era on the island with its racial politics and outsized hopes.” – John C. Ball

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