Book Review: The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q by Sharon Maas

The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q

“Thirty years of family secrets. Three generations of women. One family heirloom that could change everything. When she ran away from her childhood home in Guyana, Rika swore that she would never return. Cut off from her family, she has fought hard to make a life for herself and daughter, Inky, in London. Now, over thirty years later, Rika’s cantankerous, wheelchair-bound mother, Dorothea, arrives in London. But as old wounds re-open, Dorothea and Rika are further apart than ever. Inky soon learns that her grandmother is sitting on a small fortune. As she uncovers the secrets of the past one by one, she unravels the tragedy that tore her mother and grandmother apart. But nothing can prepare her, or Rika, for Dorothea’s final, unexpected revelation. An epic, mesmerizing tale of tragic loss, the strength of words left unspoken, and the redeeming power of love.”

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I knew nothing about it (apart from this friend and I usually enjoy the same books).  This is probably a good job, as I tend to shy away from historical novels as I think I’m not a fan!!

It is set between Guyana and London – and this immediately appealed as I have a couple of friends with Guyanese heritage, so I thought it might be interesting.  It follows the stories of Dorothea, Rika and Inky – three generations of the same family – and their growing up and coming of age, dealing with all of them at a similar time in their lives.  The chapters don’t have a strict pattern (I much prefer that then when it feels like the chapters are forced into some sort of repetitive cycle) and the stories flow in and out of the different time periods and locations.

I really enjoyed these intertwined tales of family life, and it really evoked the feeling of Guyana describing it vividly.  The love – and loss – is very moving, and kept me entertained and wanting to read more.

I will definitely look out for more books by this same author, as I thought it was beautifully written.