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The Last Warner Woman, By Kei Miller

One woman's tragic tale, beautifully told

Lesley McDowell
Sunday 01 May 2011 00:00 BST

Kei Miller's second novel,which begins in Jamaica in the Forties, is a classic and beautiful mother-daughter story – but violence is never far away.

Pearline grows up to knit bandages for a local leper colony, but dies giving birth to her daughter, Adamine, the result of a rape. Like her mother, Adamine may have the ability to foretell events, but she still falls in love with Captain Lucas and is subjected to his beatings. Finally, he sends her away and she arrives in London, where she marries unhappily. Adamine's version of events, which she tells "the writer man" who has come to hear her story, runs parallel to the standard third-person narrative, and it is in the contrasting voices that the real beauty lies.

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