A “remarkable” and “daring” debut (Nathan Harris, author of The Sweetness of Water) that “recalls Zadie Smith’s masterpiece White Teeth” (Kirkus, starred review) and follows a young man faced with a fraught decision: escape a dangerous past alone, or brave his old life and keep the woman he loves
One of The Guardian’s Top 10 Debuts of the Year
Sayon Hughes longs to escape the volatile Bristol neighborhood known as Ends, the tight-knit but sometimes lawless world in which he was raised, and forge a better life with Shona, the girl he’s loved since grade school. With few paths out, he is drawn into dealing drugs alongside his cousin, the unpredictable but fiercely loyal Cuba. Sayon is on the cusp of making a clean break when an altercation with a rival dealer turns deadly and an expected witness threatens blackmail, upending his plans.
Sayon’s loyalties are torn. If Shona learns the secret of his crime, he will lose her forever. But if he doesn’t escape Ends now, he may never get another chance. Is it possible to break free of the bookies’ tickets, burnt spoons, and crooked solutions, and still keep the love of his life?
Rippling with authenticity and power, Moses McKenzie’s dazzling debut brings to life a vibrant and teeming world we have read too little about. In its sheer lyrical power, An Olive Grove in Ends recalls the work of James Baldwin and marks the arrival of an exciting and formidable new voice.