Meet Yola Palacios.
Having escaped crumbling, socialist Venezuela, Yola and her family are settling into their peaceful new life in Trinidad.
But when her beloved Aunt Celia dies, the family once again find their lives turned upside down. For Celia had been keeping a very big secret – the Palacios are seriously in debt to a local criminal called Ugly, and without the funds to pay him off, they must do his bidding until the debt is cleared. So far, so ugly.
In the midst of the turmoil appears Román – Ugly’s distractingly gorgeous right-hand man. And although she knows it’s foolish, not to mention dangerous, Yola just can’t help but give in to the attraction. Could this wildly inappropriate (and very messy) romance be the perfect antidote?
Told with wry humour and irresistible wit, ONE YEAR OF UGLY is devastatingly funny, blisteringly fresh story of family, first love, and finding home.
One Year Of Ugly is published in ebook on the 14th May 2020 and in hardback on the 23rd July 2020. You can pre-order your copy using the link below.
One Year Of Ugly was an incredibly funny, mad and entertaining read which is hard to believe is a debut novel.
The author manages to take quite a serious, current issue and put an amusing spin on it which made for a very interesting read. Whilst this might seem a little insensitive I think it will do a great job in helping to spread awareness as I definitely feel I understand more about the desperate situations people refugees find themselves in since reading.
This story follows a year in the life of the Palacious family, their experiences as refugees and living under the control of a drug lord who their aunt owed money to. Their present day situation is interspersed with extracts from their aunts diary and through this we learn a little more about life in Venezuela which I found fascinating as I didn’t know much about that country before. It’s easy to see why a family might want to leave it.
For me the thing that most stood out in this book was the wonderful Palacious family and the fabulous characters there. It was a absolute joy to get to know them better and to see the love that exists between them even in hard times. The family drama was very amusing and kept me turning the pages as I wanted to see how everything would turn out.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Borough Press for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
About The Author:
CAROLINE MACKENZIE is a freelance translator living in Trinidad with her husband and son. A national scholar, she studied in the UK on an Open Scholarship for four years to qualify as a specialist translator before returning to her native Trinidad, where she began writing more extensively. Her short fiction has appeared in literary publications around the world, and in 2017 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. In 2018 she was named the Short Fiction winner of the Small Axe Literary Competition. One Year of Ugly is her first novel.