I decided to choose this book to kick start BookOfCinz Book Club for 2022. The first time I read it, I was a little underwhelmed but in re-reading it I was so moved by the themes explored- particularly that of friendship. Lisa Allen-Agostini writes a friendship like no other and I wanted so much more of it!

Yes, this is a book about abuse, incest, generational trauma, and hurt and while there was a heaviness throughout, it didnt feel exhaustive and I think it had to do with the book being told from the first person and in the voice of a Trini speaker.

I truly enjoyed re-reading this one and I cannot wait to discuss during book club!

The Bread The Devil Knead is a book you will inhale in one go.

The Bread the Devil Knead is set in Trinidad, we meet forty-year-old Alethea Lopez who is the manager of a fashion boutique in Downtown, Port of Spain. Alethea does not get too close to anyone, and she does not have many friends. She is very independent and spends majority of her time and effort hiding her bruises she receives from her common-law husband.

Alethea who goes by Allie has been with Leo, a failed, washed up soca artist who spends majority of his time drinking, doing low paying gigs and cheating on her. Anything can set him off, so she is constantly on eggshells around him. Why does she stay? Well, what other options does she have? She grew up with an abusive mother and was molested at an early age… life for Allie was never easy but she is making the best of the situation.

While at work one day, a woman is shot and killed by outside the boutique. Allie finds out that woman was in an abusive relationship. This death hit closer to home for her, because she keeps imagining this is what may happen if she stays with Leo… but what are her choices?
Lisa Allen-Agostini brings us a heroine that we cannot help but cheer for. We feel for her in so many ways and we want her to win. Themes of love, gender violence, racism, colorism, abuse and violence are thoroughly examined in this less than 300 page book. We get an honest look into the life of a woman who is not faced with a lot of choice and must figure out how to leave an abusive relationship.

I spent less than a day reading this book because I just had to know what happened to Allie. I did feel like Allie could have gotten a bit of a let up, it was abuse after abuse after abuse… I mean.. wow. I did enjoy how Allen-Agostini write female friendship, it was truly a beauty to experience. I also felt the book wrapped up too quickly and I wish she had spent more pages examining Allie’s earlier life and what happened after she ran away from home. I felt there were a lot of plot holes and I kept wondering “how did she get here?”

Overall a good read

About the Author


Founder & Editor

Hello, I am Cindy, a Jamaican girl living in Trinidad & Tobago who is thoroughly enjoying island life. I started the BookOfCinz platform to encourage people to Read, read More, read Widely, and Read Caribbean.

View All Articles