Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

A Cupboard Full of Coats: A Novel Paperback – May 10, 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$2.47 $0.01

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this potent mystery . . . Edwards makes us greedy for the full story.” (New York Times)

“[A] gorgeously lyrical debut novel. . . . Engrossing and human to the core, Edwards’s novel wrings the heart in the most tender of ways.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“I can’t stop talking about this gut-wrenching tale of forbidden love.” (Patrik Bass, Essence)

“A piercing and engaging narrative that navigates through past and present heartache with tenderness and candor. This promising new author twists and turns words with skill reminiscent of Toni Morrison and Barbara Kingsolver, who similarly explore hidden and revealed secrets.” (Booklist)

“A slow-burning heartbreaker of a story. . . [written] with elegant restraint and a sensitivity uncommon in debut novels.” (Shelf Awareness)

“An impressive debut, particularly notable for its pellucid prose.” (Kirkus Reviews)

A Cupboard Full of Coats is high drama, full of breathtaking tension, and, at times, brought to mind the works of Arthur Miller and August Wilson, both of whom knew a thing or two about secrets spilled across a kitchen table.” (Attica Locke, author of Black Water Rising)

“Fans of British psychological thrillers, à la Ruth Rendell, will adore this lyrical debut.” (Redbook Magazine)

From the Back Cover

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Deeply moving, wonderfully written . . . a study of grief and remorse. Times (London)

In this potent mystery . . . Edwards makes us greedy for the full story. New York Times

Plagued by guilt, paralyzed by shame, Jinx has spent the years since her mother s death alone, estranged from her husband, withdrawn from her son, and entrenched in a childhood home filled with fierce and violent memories. When Lemon, an old family friend, appears unbidden at the door, he seduces Jinx with a heady mix of powerful storytelling and tender care. What follows is a tense and passionate weekend, as the two join forces to unravel the tragedy that binds them. Jinx has long carried the burden of the past; now she must relive her mother s last days, confront her grief head-on, and speak the truth as only she knows it.

Expertly woven and perfectly paced, A Cupboard Full of Coats is both a heartbreaking family drama and a riveting mystery, with a cast of characters who linger in the mind and the heart long after the last page has been turned.

Engrossing and human to the core, Edwards s novel wrings the heart in the most tender of ways. Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A piercing and engaging narrative that navigates through past and present heartache with tenderness and candor. This promising new author twists and turns words with skill reminiscent of Toni Morrison and Barbara Kingsolver, who similarly explore hidden and revealed secrets. Booklist"

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad; Original edition (May 10, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062183737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062183736
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Yvvette Edwards's debut novel, A Cupboard Full of Coats, is an elegantly structured story of guilt and redemption. Fourteen years after her mother's murder, Jinx still blames herself for her role in the crime. She is living alone and in a state of emotional exile in London's East End, separated from her husband and young son, when Lemon arrives on her doorstep unexpectedly: "He just knocked, that was all, knocked the front door and waited, like he'd just come back with the paper from the corner shop, and the fourteen years since he'd last stood there, the fourteen years since the night I'd killed my mother, hadn't really happened at all." An old friend of Jinx's mom and her abusive husband, Lemon blames himself for the death. Lemon's arrival sparks "some kind of voyage of discovery" for Jinx and Lemon as they spend the next few days revisiting old wounds and reliving past events.

Jinx's first-person narration is emotionally raw and brutally honest. Her edgy voice is counterbalanced by Lemon's melodic, Caribbean diction. Over several days, the healing process begins as Lemon breaks down Jinx's self-defenses with home-cooked meals and other ministrations, including a foot massage that left Jinx a "shapeless, boneless heap of melted contentment." Edwards's vivid language captures the full range of human appetites and emotions with admirable precision. Jinx's dark thoughts are portrayed in clipped, brusque sentences--"I wanted to kill him. I'd been angry before in the past, but nothing on this scale ever.
Read more ›
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a first person narrative taking place in two time frames, the present and fourteen years in the past. The narrator is a 30 year old woman, Jinx Jackson, who lives in London, but whose family is from the Caribbean. Jinx is the main narrator of the earlier sections, but we also hear the voice of Lemon, a friend of Jinx's mother's fiance. Lemon shows up at Jinx's house one day and insists on reliving the events of that earlier time, events culminating in the murder of Jinx's mother.

Jinx is emotionally closed down and unable to communicate with Lemon, her ex-husband or even her four-year old son. Her complete inability to bond with Sam, her son, is told with such complete lack of maternal empathy or love that I finished the scene of her aborted weekend with Sam intensely disliking the narrator. And then I realized with a shock that the author expected me to dislike her narrator, she was purposely withholding any facets of the narrator's personality that would create empathy. That is a very gutsy move early in an author's first book.

I never liked any of the characters in the book, except the brief view we have of Red, her ex-husband, but I didn't particularly care. I simply became intrigued to discover what the author would do with this unappealing narrator. And the answer is that the narrator slowly breaks through the immense self-protective shields created for self-protection as she listens to Lemon provide an alternative narrative of those earlier events.

The unfolding of events through alternate narratives is reasonably well done, though the narrative voice of the younger Jinx is an overly familiar coming of age saga that followed a predictably depressing story line.
Read more ›
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
Every now and then I read a book that reminds me to be thankful for a loving and nurturing childhood, because a lack of one can often lead to a disturbing adult life. Yvvette Edwards' impressive debut novel, A Cupboard Full of Coats is such a book for me. The book is a tale of family dynamics, jealousy, tragic betrayals, and guilt that mesmerizes the reader through its searing language and characters drawn so well they fill spaces in the readers mind. Jinx, a 28 year-old woman who is haunted by her childhood, and the brutal murder of her mother 14 years ago, is the book's main narrator. While these events are always present in Jinx's mind, she has not spoken about them to anyone so lives her life in a fog, until a person from the past, Lemon, shows up at her door. With teasing language, Ms. Edwards hooks the reader from the beginning. "He just knocked, that was all, knocked the front door and waited, like he'd just come back with the paper from the corner store, and the fourteen years since he'd last stood there, the fourteen years since the night I'd killed my mother, hadn't really happened at all." Lemon is back because Berris, the mother's boyfriend, who was convicted of killing Jinx's mother, has just been released from prison and has asked Lemon to forgive him. Lemon has his own demons and needs for Jinx to forgive him for past transgressions. Jinx does let Lemon in, and over the course of three days, as the stories goes back forth between the present and the past we are told a tale that will test the limits of forgiveness.

As the truth reluctantly unfurls, and the interactions of Jinx, Berris, Lemon, and the mother are exposed, the reader is treated to lush descriptions of Caribbean food and the lifestyle of the Caribbean immigrants living in the East End of London.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?