Debut novel “By the Next Pause” from author G. Barton-Sinkia has 874 pages, this might seem like a lot for a book for some, but I promise It is worth it. It is impressive that this is the first book that Barton-Sinika writes, more considering that the story she decides to share with us is a long one, full of emotions and details.
Whether you are an immigrant or not, you are born and raised in Toronto, or like me, you just got here two years ago, this book will give you all the feels. It had been a while since a book moved me that much.
By the Next Pause tells us the story of Pam, a young Jamaican woman who moves to Toronto hoping to start a new life leaving her young daughter Simone behind, when her only relative dies, she is forced to raise the daughter she never wanted. For circumstances of life, she finds herself as the neighbour of another single parent, Mike who is raising his young son Nolan by himself.
This story develops in a moment where Toronto was starting to receive big waves of immigrants, and many weren’t that comfortable with this situation. The book deals with the stress of moving to a new country, adapting to new weather, having an accent, going to a new school, being the object of racism, etc. All of these helps you understand how Pam and Mike had to grow out of their differences and join forces to raise their kids in a good environment.
The book has seven parts in which the time passes, and the characters grow in front of our eyes, when we read their stories, and get to know where they are in life, as well as the decisions and mistakes they make, I truly felt I knew them and understood them.
I wish this book had never ended and I’m so happy I got the chance to read it, I will forever treasure it as one of my favourites.
Ps. I strongly recommend having a box of Kleenex next to you when reading this book, you so don’t want to be like me and find yourself crying in the subway next to strangers.