The Opposite House is about the disquiet that follows us across places and languages, a feeling passed down from mother and father to son and daughter. It is an unforgettable second novel from the author of The Icarus Girl.
Maja Carmen Carrera was only five years old when her black Cuban family emigrated from the Caribbean to London, leaving her with one complete memory: a woman singing – in a voice both eerie and enthralling – at their farewell party, while little Maja peered out from beneath a table.
Now, almost twenty years later, Maja herself is a singer, in love with Aaron, pregnant and haunted by what she calls ‘her Cuba’. Growing up in London, she has struggled to negotiate her history and the sense that speaking the Spanish or the English of her people’s conquistadors made her less of a black girl. But she is unable to find in herself the Ewe, Igbo, or Swahili of her roots. It seems all that’s left is silence.
And on the other side of the reality wall, Yemaya Saramagua, Yemaya of the ocean, lives in the Somewhere house with two doors: one opening to London, the other to Lagos. Yemaya is troubled by the ease with which her fellow gods have disguised themselves as saints and reappeared under different names and faces…