Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review and Giveaway: THE YARD by Aliyyah Eniath

The Yard cover

About The Yard

• Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books; 1 edition (April 5, 2016)
• Publication Date: April 5, 2016

A story of love and redemption, set in Trinidad, that exposes the fault lines in Indo-Muslim culture. Behrooz is brought to a familial complex, The Yard, to live with a devout and extended family, where he struggles to belong. He forms a childish alliance with Maya, a wilful and rebellious girl, and his guardian’s daughter. After they share a night of adolescent tenderness, Maya, fearing retribution, flees to London. Behrooz painstakingly rebuilds his life and marries another. When tragedy strikes, Maya returns to her childhood home. There, she and Behrooz must face up to old demons. Can their love endure? Even after Maya is dealt the most righteous” blow of all?


A haunting tale of family, commitment, love...and being true to yourself.  --Roslyn Carrington, author of A Thirst for Rain

The author’s voice speaks in warm and sometimes cold filmic pictures of the universal language of love, honour, commitment, belief and family. When a remote outsider, a young boy, is drawn into and under the beguiling machinations of a devout extended family, there’s disruption in their cultural fabric and hierarchy, that challenges the decisions of a determined young girl’s head and heart. --Peter Jarrette - Author of Brighton Babylon

On a gem of an island, in a private family enclave, boy — orphaned, rough, longing for acceptance — meets girl — sophisticated, manipulative, afraid of tenderness. The Yard is a sensitive tale of romance, hurt and forgiveness skillfully spun by emergent author Aliyyah Eniath. --Barbara Bamberger Scott — Editor, A Woman’s Write

My Review

There were things that I loved about the book, and there were things that I really didn't love. THE YARD is the story of one family's compound in Trinidad, where are entire family lives and plays and raises their children. Mostly, this is the story of Behrooz, an orphaned boy who does not remember his family, and Maya, one of the children who lives in the yard. Maya's father brings Behrooz home and raises him as one of their own. Maya and Behrooz form a special bond, but when this bond develops into something that frightens Maya she takes off and leaves him to move on without her.

I enjoyed the story of Maya and Behrooz very much. While I had a difficult time liking Maya as a character, as she is quite vicious and unpleasant, I enjoyed watching the bond that forms between the two grow as they grew older. I enjoyed the descriptions of life in Trinidad, as I always enjoy learning about foreign cultures.

I did think that there were too many people talked about in the book and I often had a hard time keeping them all separate. Some were mentioned a few times, some only once or twice. As a result, when someone was mentioned I often wasn't sure exactly who it was or where they belonged in the compund. That format could have worked better if perhaps one chapter was dedicated to one person. As it was, the focus was on Behrooz and Maya and I would have preferred just hearing about those two. I also felt that the ending was sped up too much for me. There was a lot of focus on Behrooz and Maya's childhood and young adulthood and then very large periods of time were skipped over to get to the conclusion.

Ultimately this was an enjoyable book, and with a few tweaks I would have enjoyed it more. The ending was good, the writing was compelling, and the descriptions of Trinidad were insightful.

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Aliyyah Eniath was born in Trinidad and Tobago; her ancestors hailed from Uttar Pradesh, India. She's a director at Safari Publications, a magazine publishing house, and founder/editor-in- chief of Belle Weddings (Caribbean) magazine.
Aliyyah Eniath AP
Her debut novel The Yard (literary, romance) is published by Speaking Tiger Books in both paperback and ebook formats.

She explores the ideas of breaking free from imposed boundaries (familial or otherwise), understanding and feeling supported in who you are, overcoming self-doubt, and finally being true to yourself. Her writing looks at strict religious ideologies and their potential consequences and begs for a softer approach and innate understanding and compassion towards every human being.

She writes from the perspective of East Indians whose forefathers were brought to Trinidad from India through the British colonial indentureship scheme in 1845.

Find out more about Aliyyah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Greetings, Jonita! Thank you for your honest review. I will add a link to your giveaway to my blog's sidebar.

  2. This setting is one that I have not experienced in fiction before and it sounds fascinating to me.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!