Family loyalty, betrayal and the redemptive power of love are at the heart of this poignant and unforgettable novel set in Canada and Jamaica.
When Maria Galloway dies, she leaves everything to her spoiled, wayward grandson, Vittorio. Her only granddaughter, Molly, whom she raised from infancy, is left to confront the unyielding bitterness Maria harboured against her. As Molly begins to trace the complex interrelationships in her loving but divided family, she recalls her idyllic childhood, spent in her grandmother’s sky-blue house in Jamaica. There, surrounded by a jungle of coconut, mango and avocado trees and enveloped in the smells of mouth-watering sweet cakes and spicy Jamaican foods, she received her grandmother’s pure and simple generosity, and the return of unconditional love.
But as Molly enters adolescence, she grows increasingly aware of her grandmother’s vulnerabilities and disappointments, her human frailties. When Maria decides that things might get better if she leaves Jamaica and joins her adult children in Canada, she takes Molly with her. But it isn’t long before she, a woman who has always lived on her own terms and has never been afraid to speak her mind, clashes with her children. Even Molly falls into disfavour when Maria discovers that she is romantically involved with a woman.
From generational saga to tender love story, The Heart Does Not Bend is a vivid and heartfelt portrayal of an indomitable matriarch and the women who must free themselves from her.