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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
In Redding, a town on the island of Jamaica, Nola Chambers is born with dark skin to a family that always has prized its light skinned members. Her father favors Nola's light-skinned sister Louisa and beats Nola as her mother looks the other way, chopping pineapples, mangoes and such for the jellies she makes to sell. Nola's teacher at school, Slugga, assigns Nola to work with fellow students Delroy Reckus and Dahlia Daley. Dahlia's mother, Merlene, operates a bar and grill in town that supposedly attracts men for the favors its women offer, so Nola cannot bring Dahlia to the Chambers home. Merlene offers Dahlia and Nola wonderful foods to eat after school, and Nola delights in eating without her father berating her for being overweight. Nola truly loves these times with Dahlia, Merlene and with Delroy. She hasn't had such a good time since her Grampy was alive, years before. But will these times of happiness last?
"Dew Angels" by Melanie Schwapp is a delightful and well-written story that tells realistically of life in modern-day Jamaica. The characters speak in the everyday dialect but the reader will have no problem in understanding language. The main character Nola is a wonderful literary creation as she slowly grows into the person she was meant to be despite the culture in which she is raised as an outcast. Nola's parents are realistic portrayals of a family dealing, not always so kindly, with one of its members being a throw-back to generations of long ago. Dahlia, her mother Merlene, Nola's sister Louisa, Delroy, Slugga, Mad Aggie, and all the other characters, including Eric and his minions, are true to their characters as Jamaican residents."Dew Angels" tells a universal tale of survival that readers everywhere will want to read. It is an eye opener!