Read Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond Online


Powder Necklace: A Novel (Wsp Readers Club)...

Title : Powder Necklace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781439126103
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Powder Necklace Reviews

  • Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
    2019-02-18 15:36

    I wrote this so I'm biased! But I'll tell you why I love this book:*It tells the story of a heroine I'm so proud of -- a sharp, honest young girl making the turbulent journey of adolescence across three continents *It offers a new perspective on important issues that need fresh examination including: o the superiority complex Westerners have regarding the so-called"Third World" o the effect of single parenthood on girl children in particular o what it means to grow up American/British/etc when your parentsare trying to raise you as a good African/Jamaican/Trinidadian/etc*It was written over 6 years of immense professional & spiritual change in my life*It's my first novel -- my baby!

  • Michelle
    2019-03-14 12:22

    I picked this one up yesterday afternoon during my son's nap time and finished it later that night. I was impressed with myself for eating it up so quickly but more so impressed with the talent of this debut novelist.The story is tragic, real and compulsively readable. Lila is a 14 year old girl born to a mother and father from Ghana but raised in London. She never gets to know her father except over brief phone calls during holidays and her birthday. Her mother is fiercely protective and angry at every normal teenage action she seems to make. (talking to boys, wearing tight clothes, etc). Her mother's attitude towards her goes beyond normal mother/daughter parenting. Though the story behind her father isn't told right away, the hatred that Lila's mother has for him is quite obvious in the way she tries to shelter Lila.Then one day her mother walks in on Lila and a boy friend watching TV and it sends her into a rage. Soon enough, Lila finds herself being sent to stay with her aunt in Ghana to give her mom "a break".Ghana is a far cry from her life in London. It is rough and dirty and not at all welcoming. Her Auntie is brisk and to the point; "Don't ask too many questions. Try to fit in." Though her skin color matches the other girls at the Dadaba Girls Secondary School, the term "Broni" is often shouted at her, meaning "White Girl or not a true Ghanaian".She is faced with a bleak, hot, cruel environment. She is taught to keep her head down and make it through. A water shortage, peer pressure and bullies make her life in Ghana a living hell. After six months and a tough road to making a few friends, her mother pulls her back to her life in London.With a new man in her mother's life and a possible future step sister, Lila is brought back to a world she is unsure is her true home. But this time she jumps in full force; to hell with her mom's rules about boys. She deserves some fun and soon finds it in her first boyfriend, a new job, sex and drugs.But not for long. Only a short time after getting settled back in, her father sends for her to take a vacation with his new family to Disney World.At this point in the book you are really feeling for Lila. Seriously, what the hell? You feel the disfunction of the mother, the eagerness and lure of the father and the impatience of Lila. Who's interest is this all for?Lila is a fresh, witty, all too aware and real teenager. Though her bad behavior makes you angry at times, you completely understand her rebellion and anger towards her parents. You also get a raw description of life in Ghana and the displacement Lila feels in a culture and world she is supposed to embrace.Author Info: (from back of ARC)Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond has written for AOL, Parenting magazine, The Village Voice, Metro, and Trace Magazine. Her short story "Bush Girl" was published in the May 2008 issue of African Writing, and her poem "The Whinings of a Seven Sister Cum Laude Graduate Working Board as an Assistant," was published in 2006's Growing Up Girl Anthology. A cum laude graduate of Vassar College, she attended secondary school in Ghana.Rating: 5 stars/6 starsI would recommend this for Young and Adult readers. It has a universal voice that teenagers could easily identify with and a unique and bold writing style that a seasoned reader can appreciate.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-03 12:37

    This book started out beautifully. Teenage Lila is a native Londoner, being raised by her divorced Ghanaian immigrant mother. But when Lila invites a boy over to play video games after school, her mother packs her off to Ghana for high school, saying she "needs a break" from Lila's troublesome ways. Lila suffers not only culture shock but identity confusion as she adjusts to Ghanaian culture and school for six months before her mother whisks her back to London and then packs her off again, this time to her Ghanaian father in the U.S. The best part of the book is Lila's story of her life at a Ghanaian high school. It speaks to the identity confusion of immigrant children as well as the inevitable confusions of growing up. But the last part of the book, when Lila goes to live with her father, is relatively undeveloped. And the ending is a disappointment, tacked on wish-fulfillment.

  • ASoner
    2019-03-11 17:33

    It was an immensely entertaining, thought provoking story.

  • Tracy Darity
    2019-03-07 10:27

    "A powdered neck meant you had bathed....that your mother or father had sent a barrel or jerrican of water so you had water to bathe with and drink. The girls that didn't have water started powdering their neck anyway." (page 244)The "Powder Necklace" by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond was one of those books that leaves the reader with things to ponder. The story is based on the life of Lila Adjei, a young Ghanaian girl raised in London, by her divorced mother. At the age of 13 or 14, Lila's mother becomes "lonely." She sends Lila to Ghana, to discover her roots and learn about her culture; 6 months later she has a change of heart (that involves a new love interest), and brings Lila home. The reunion doesn't last long, and Lila is soon off to discover America. There she must bond with her father and his family; a father she has not seen since she was three.As Lila settles into her new life, her mother uproots her again and she is on a plane back to London.There are several things going on in "Powder Necklace" and I was not sure which one was supposed to stand-out for me. Was it the symbolism of the neck in African culture? Or, as a mother, was it okay to dwell on the notion of just sending my child to another country because I was tired or "lonely." In Ghana, Lila's ordeal/learning experience gave clear meaning to the phrase, what doesn't kill you, will only make you stronger." Or, was the central theme really, "everything happens for God's good reason."Brew-Hammond has written a wonderful coming of age story that will not diappoint readers. In the end,Lila's journey comes full circle. Despite her not fully understanding her experience, she recognizes that most children love their parents unconditionally, and the hurt and disappoinment easily dissolves into the next smile, the next hug, or next fleeting moment of something better coming over the horizon. There are a few things that as a reader, I would have liked more back-story on, but not knowing did not take away from the piece in it's totality."I knew from Dadaba that lonliness made you do desperate things, but when I saw Mum's flowing face, I prayed I wouldn't ever get so lonely I'd send my child away or forget who I was because of it." Lila Adjei - Powder NecklaceMuch Love,TracyTracy L. Darity is the author of "He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!" and "Love...Like Snow In Florida On A Hot Summer Day." Please visit for more information.

  • Carla Ford
    2019-03-15 14:32

    It seems as though we can all learn a lesson from this young girl. Bounced from place to place by her basket case of a mother, Lila's resilience is amazing. Sent from the U.S. because, as it turns out, her mother needs some "me time", Lila finds herself in Ghana, a place that nothing her life in the U.S. could have possibly prepared her for. She cried until she had no tears left, then when she had to leave her aunt's house for school, she cried some more. Eventually, she settled into life at school and made some friends, jut to be uprooted again. Lila made the best of every situation she found herself in, although she was never allowed to put down any roots. You wanted to feel sorry for her, but her spirit was so strong that you wound up in awe of her. Lila managed to thrive in the deplorable conditions in Ghana, back in the U.S. she found love, and in her father's home she finally had a family life, although her mother jerked her around at every turn. This book was so much about the spirit of this wonderful girl. From the time I started it, I wanted to finish it, and hopefully find a happy ending for Lila. In the end, her poignant questions left me hoping for a sequel, so that I could see Lila find the life and love she deserved.

  • Rashida
    2019-03-11 13:35

    Do you know what I found remarkable about this book? Brew-Hammond's ability to have such a realistic teenage protagonist. This is first person narrative, and she remains absolutely believable and authentic as a teenager throughout the entire book. Let's be honest. As an adult, teenagers are about the most exasperating beings on the planet. Why won't they just heed? Why do they persist in folly? And roll their eyes and give such attitude? But, as a teenager, your every indignation is absolutely righteous, and it's the adults who are just not understanding and making decisions about your life that are so terribly unfair. I felt this girl's pain, and heard her voice, but I could still sit back and say, "girl, stop being such a brat and respect your elders!" It's a testament to Brew-Hammond's talent that she makes this young girl with such different life experiences so completely relatable. Plotwise, I wonder if Brew-Hammond was too intent on wrapping things up in a neat little bow of a very (unrealistically?) happy ending. But, you know, it's fiction, whose to say it couldn't happen?

  • ohradiogirl
    2019-03-21 17:39

    What a wonder read. It was an easy read and so well written; w/some humor too. She covered the three geographical locations nicely. At least it seems as if she did. I wouldn't be surprised if this became a movie too. Good character development especially in Auntie Flora.

  • Patrick Anthony
    2019-02-20 15:42

    Enjoyed interviewing Nana for this book. We have also done a couple radio shows and she is the Now now, meaning everything she does, including Powder Necklace, in embued with fashion, integrity, feminism and a live for the motherland. Cannot wait to see future and forthcoming work.

  • Mocha Girl
    2019-02-28 17:34

    Powder Necklace is a debut novel from Ekua Brew-Hammond with a Bildungsroman-ish vibe featuring Lila, a quiet and shy teen living with her divorced, immigrant mother in modern London. Although she is a good student, she is somewhat of an outsider, a bit withdrawn and largely friendless. Her life is turned upside down when her mother misinterprets an innocent encounter as a carnal act of disobedience. Her mother seemingly overreacts by shipping Lila unaccompanied to Ghana the next day. Lila has a keen eye and it is in these first-person passages where the author excels in the depiction of her experiences with Ghanaian society and tradition. The imagery and voices allowed this American reader to experience culture shock along with Lila during the airport arrival, her aunt's lodgings and hospitality, the boarding school ordeal and all events in between. Within six months, the ever-observant Lila adapts to the ingrained "quid-pro-quo" lifestyle, survives the scarcity of water, endures the torment of enemies, and learns the value of friendship. As quickly as she was dispatched to Africa, her mother then suddenly recalls her to London and upon rebelling there in the worst ways, she is again abruptly whisked away to live with her distant "thrice-a-year phone-calling" father and his family in New York City. At this point, the direction of the novel veers unexpectedly toward evangelical themes when a travel-weary Lila struggles to make sense of her parents' actions, their relationships, the effects their decisions have on her life, and the age-old "why me" question. At its core, the novel explores issues of identity, dislocation, and belonging as Lila is thrust into differing and difficult situations in the UK (London), Ghana and the USA (New York City). It is in these places and from deep within her heart that she must find her own voice and the inner strength to survive often without the shelter, guidance, and protection of her dysfunctional family. A side note: This novel should probably be marketed or labeled as Young Adult because there were too many unanswered questions, underdeveloped adult characters, and a neatly wrapped ending (which also felt a bit forced and abrupt); however, even from an adult viewpoint, it was still an enlightening and educational story - the boarding school experiences are truly unforgettable. Recommended for all with an interest in cross-cultural experiences featuring a female, coming-of-age, teen protagonist.

  • Shelley Shockley
    2019-03-08 14:38

    I just love when I have no preconceived notions about a book and delve into and really find myself enjoying it! That was just the case with Brew-Hammond's Powder Necklace.If I were to put it into a category I would call it a "coming of age" story, but it is also a story of the different dynamics that make up a family in our world.Told from the narrator, Lila's, point of view this international story follows the path a young Ghanaian girl takes as she travels to the homeland of her parents - something she has no knowledge of and back to her native London and then to New York.Add to this mix the fact that she is prepubescent, sheltered and her parents are divorced and living on different sides of the world.The writing is conversational,and although written from the context of a very young girl it is not elementary. The writer/narrator is wiser than her age.Because we have all been children of this age we can relate to some of the issues she faces as she wants to assert her growth, but her parents understand that she still needs nurturing and guidance.The story is also an eye opener for Americans or Westerners as the narrator presents the harsh realities of life in Ghana.One scene I truly enjoyed for the written style of bringing the reader into the story was Lila's return to London as she compares the two places "Where everything in Ghana had some red it it - from the soups we ate to the dirt roads we bumped along - everything in London was black, ash or brown."With passages like this Brew-Hammond draws the reader into her world and you absorb it - seeking to see, hear and feel more of this young girls life.

  • Michelle Robinson
    2019-02-18 12:28

    I finished reading this book at about 2 this morning. I wanted to write my review then. However, I think that its good that I waited a little while.I was so angry with the mother. It's strange but her name never comes to my mind easily, even as I was reading the book. Maybe she did not feel like a fully formed charachter to me, I'm not sure.Last night I was very angry with the mother, how could she send her daughter off to a third world country, even the one that she had imigrated from, it seemed so irresponisible it felt like abandonment, to me. As a parent, I can understand being tired of a teen's behavior but this seems so extreme. To send a westernized child into a world of filth and deprivation, it just infurtiated me. To send a child away to anywhere when they were not exhibiting extreme behaviors seems a little heavy handed. I never got over that sense of seeing the Mom as unfit and uncaring. Now, I can at least appreciate that this Mom had connections to her homeland and maybe she felt this was in the child's best interest???This book is an interesting read and certainly different from anything that I have ever read before. I found the plot and setting interesting. I was pretty disgusted by some scenes. There are some things that I would prefer to never read about.The ending feels a little abrupt and I had questions about what conclusions the author was hoping to have us reach.All in all, I am sure it is a good first novel. I did evoke many feelings in me. Certainly not all good but then with well written fiction that should be what one expects, I imagine.

  • Tamaracj
    2019-02-27 16:46

    On the whole I enjoyed reading this book but as the child of a West African immigrant who spent the first part of her childhood 'back home' before returning to the UK, I felt the novel's protagonist or perhaps the author missed out on the beauty of Africa. While I appreciate that being uprooted from a life of creature comforts in London and being placed in hardship in a strange country, I still think the character failed to learn the lesson life in Africa could have taught her. The preoccupation with the creature comforts or lack thereof meant that she overlooked the solid friendships she made in Ghana which she had not made elsewhere. Similarly the resilience that living in such a environment imparted on her or the determination and resourcefulness shown by the young girl in her Aunty's house all seemed lost on Lila who even towards the end still showed immaturity. It's ironic that as the novel concludes, her stepsister is the voice of optimism, encouraging her to see the positive side of Ghana. That being said, the novel is well written and amusing though the time she spent in Ghana was by far what carried an otherwise run-of-the-mill novel.

  • Mzgrammybear
    2019-02-23 15:28

    Another classification of a brilliant meet and greet. I was privileged to cross paths with Mrs. Hammond at a book fair event. One word description AMAZING !Reading and browsing every page, not only was I provided with a sharp glance of what life may truly be like in Ghana, but talking about putting a grip on the actual definition of what HOME really is. Finding herself caught up in the middle of what some have called parental irreconcilable differences, young Lila gets a pure dose of root-ality. Recognizing the difference in lifestyles from her very own, this young lady learn to adapt and make the best out of just about any situation. True contest to "all will working it self out in the end". This PurrFect Chic can honestly say Powder Necklace leaves a remarkable impact of understanding where you come from...talking about going back to your roots. Again not just knowing but understanding!

  • pdxmaven
    2019-02-18 12:29

    Sad tale -- mom in London tries for better life for her daughter (or maybe just wants time to spend w/new boyfriend without being bothered by parenting a daughter) so sends her back to Ghana, her homeland but where she is hardly at home. A poignant comment of not fitting in, in your own supposed 'land', and the brutality of adolescent relational aggression. Then is brought back to London and sent to live with her father in the US, where a trip of Disneyland is a crazy parody of all that is worst about American life as show from the immigrant's and new arrival's experience. She says in the Afterward Conversation that she had originally started to write this as a memoir (she too was sent back, though from the US not London, to boarding school in Ghana) and talks some in the Reader's Guide about which parts of the story were from her life.

  • Jan
    2019-03-16 11:29

    Lila is coming of age in London. She has a boyfriend and several good girl friends. Her mother fears she is running in the wrong crowd. She sends her off to rural Ghana.School at first is hard as is the culture. Water is a symbol of wealth. Water is hard to find and parents send water to their kids to drink, bathe and wash their clothes. The powder necklace of the title is when the girls powder their neck which showed that they had bathed. Then she goes back to London where she meets her mother's boyfriend and his daughter. Life is complicated and she is shipped off to live with her father, his new wife and young children. She is now living in New York. The family trip to Disney World was fun to read about.I liked the book and can't wait to read more from this author."By submitting a review you agree to our Terms & Conditions Terms & Conditions

  • Babydoll
    2019-03-02 16:36

    A breathtakingly intriguing story, author Nana Ekua Brew Hammond creates an astounding coming of age novel centering around the life of Lila Adjei. Lila defines her identity as well as her purpose in life, while being shipped to three different countries by her mother. During her travels, Lila embarks on a journey through displacement and abandonment, to sacrifice, endurance, and accomplishment. Hammond does a remarkable job of capturing the rich Ghanaian culture through references to the language and cultural practices throughout the book. Hammond also provides a vivid view of the harsh realities of an all-girl private school in Ghana. A fulfilling read, the reader is sure to not be disappointed. I look forward to reading future works by Hammond.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-18 13:17

    NeoAgent Disclaimer: Yes, I'm biased since I'm the agent on this, but if you can handle that, read on. POWDER NECKLACE is a fresh take on a Diaspora narrative. It is written with humor and heart, and is as much an immigrant story as it is a portrait of Ghanaian culture. Nana attracted my support because she handled the material in a contemporary way. She created a work that ALL mothers and daughters can enjoy, and gives her readers a chance to ponder the choices we make when forming our own identities.So discuss it! Enjoy it! Recommend it to your friends! Show your support new voices in contemporary *WOMEN's* fiction! Thanks!Elizabeth Jote ( @Gloriouspaper on Twitter)

  • Louise
    2019-03-20 10:45

    This wonderful debut novel is a coming of age story with international flair. A very enjoyable read, with vivid descriptions of Ghana, and the hardships endured by the protagonist who is suddenly uprooted from her home, not once, but twice. I liked the characters, even the unlikeable ones. But I do wish the last part of the book had delved a little bit deeper. The ending (once she was in the US) felt rushed to me, and not as "real" as the Ghana/London part. Everything happened too quickly and we seemed to only get a skimming view of the events, as compared to the strong and captivating beginning. I still enjoyed it though!

  • Teresa
    2019-03-02 12:23

    Our book group won these from It was a very interesting story of a young teen being shuttled betweeen her known life in London with her mother to the unknown life in Ghana with a aunt. Then back to London where her mother now has a boyfriend with a teenage daughter. Then shuttled off to her father and his wife and twins who she has never met in the US. It is very discriptive and funny in a sad way. It's heartbreaking how little the adults care about this teen's feeling, even though at times her destructive behaviors are a problem.

  • Jzmom
    2019-02-28 12:45

    I loved the book until I got to the last page. The ending seemed a bit rushed or just not enough. In any case, I was intrigued to read this because I recall the chit chats my best friend and I would have while I was in high school. I would ask her about her life in Ghana and school, etc. This book brought me back to the times of envisioning life there and how different it is from what I have experienced here in the states. While I didn't care for the ending much, I have to say it was the author's choice, I respect it.

  • Lynecia
    2019-03-01 10:40

    A great coming-of-age story, loosely based on the experience of the author's. As a young adolescent, Lila's mother abruptly sends her Ghana to attend boarding school, which subsequently becomes a crash course in a culture that she had never known. This was the land of her parents, foreign territory and she was treated as such by the other girls at school who ridiculed her for being a foreigner, unfamiliar with the language and customs. Great read!

  • Kaitlin
    2019-02-24 09:37

    It is an enjoyable book. My favorite parts were when Lila the main character was living in London and Ghana, the descriptions and her life were vivid and I felt like I was really looking into Lila and her world. When she moves to America, the story began to lose some of the realism to me. I felt like the end was a little too tidy. At some points I found Lila's interactions with her parents ringing false.

  • Robbin
    2019-02-18 09:24

    An odd title, but after you read the book, you'll see it makes perfect sense. This is a fascinating story about a British African girl whose mother sends her to live temporarily in Ghana and then sends her to New York to reside with a father she doesn't know. Very sweet story and quick read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

  • Susan Frazier-Kouassi
    2019-02-18 13:34

    This 1st novel by the author is a very thinly disguised autobiography. There are some great sections, which I wish she would have explored more in depth, but, it gives an interesting insight (although somewhat cast in a negative light) of life as a secondary student in a single-sex Ghana boarding school.

  • Aimee
    2019-02-27 17:39

    Lila is sent from a "luxury" apartment in London to finish high school in Ghana. Her mother tells her it will teach her a lesson for her behavior and that the schools are superior. While in Ghana she is hazed by her peers and must fetch her own water. The lessons she learns are life lessons about priorities and relationships in this excellent debut novel.

  • Kc
    2019-02-24 10:22

    If I were an independent film maker, this would be my first endeavor. I would love to see this brought to life on film. Amazing story. Potentially award winning. I'm rarely pulled in by novels but the author does it so well. Kudos.

  • Jlbutler55
    2019-03-21 17:34

    I enjoyed this story about a British born and bred young Ghanaian girl who gets sent to Ghana by her mother to attend boarding school.I could really relate to her account of Ghanaian life through the eyes of an Obroni.

  • Jumana
    2019-03-20 09:31

    I really enjoyed the first half of this book - especially reading about life at a girls' school in Ghana. The second half of the book was much less interesting to me, hence the 4 stars instead of 5.

  • Joshunda Sanders
    2019-03-14 13:18

    Nana is a homegirl from my Vassar days, so I expected to find some familiar themes in the book, but "Powder Necklace" was actually such a revelation on some many levels while also being a fun, quick and delightful read. A wonderfully diverse and entertaining book.