Dominoes: A Novel (Paperback)

Dominoes: A Novel By Phoebe McIntosh Cover Image
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A tender and provocative debut novel about a mixed-race British woman who makes the shocking discovery in the days leading up to her wedding that her fiancé’s family may have enslaved her ancestors

“Simultaneously sweet and sobering, this is one you will not want to miss.”—Onyi Nwabineli, author of Someday, Maybe

Dominoes opens in London, twenty-nine days before a young couple’s wedding. Layla is a mixed-race woman—with a Black, Jamaican mother, and a white father she’s never met—and Andy is a white man of Scottish descent. When they first meet at a party, they can’t believe how instant their chemistry is, and how quickly their relationship unfolds. Funnily enough, they even share a last name: McKinnon.

Layla’s best friend, Sera, isn’t so sure about Andy, or the fact that her best friend is engaged a white man. As the wedding approaches, Sera prompts her friend to research her heritage more, leading Layla to make a shocking discovery: It’s extremely likely that Andy’s ancestors enslaved Layla’s in Jamaica, and that the money from that enslavement helped build his family’s wealth.

What seemed like a fairy-tale romance is suddenly derailed as Layla begins to uncover parts of her history and identity that she never imagined—or had simply learned to ignore. The process takes her to Jamaica for the first time, where she uncovers truths about her family’s history that will change the way she thinks about herself and her future. As the clock ticks down to her wedding, Layla must make a decision: commit to the man she loves or expose a shameful history that has gone unspoken for far too long.

About the Author

Phoebe McIntosh is an actress and playwright from London. She wrote and performed in a sell-out run of her first play, The Tea Diaries, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by her solo show, Dominoes, which toured the South East and London. She completed the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab program, and her most recent full-length play, The Soon Life, was shortlisted and highly commended for the Tony Craze Award as well as being longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. Phoebe won a place on the inaugural Tamasha x Hachette creative writing program and was selected for Penguin’s WriteNow program.

Praise For…

Dominoes insists that love is an action, a transformation, a reckoning to be cherished and chosen above fear, memory, and even history. These richly drawn characters of McIntosh’s world offer readers an unforgettable story of intimacy, humor, pain, and healing. Vulnerable and vibrant, Dominoes is a radiant debut, shining with complexity and compassion for the bonds of family and friendship that give our lives purpose.”—Rachel Eliza Griffiths, author of Promise

“A great book! A warm, fun, sweet love story—which is also about the British slave trade and its legacy. I found it humbling and hopeful and I really CARED about the characters.”—Marian Keyes, author of Again, Rachel

Dominoes is a striking, thought-provoking read and Phoebe McIntosh expertly examines the intricacies of romance as it intersects with race and class. A stirring story with strong, complex characters that delves into the legacy of Britain’s slave trade while interrogating love, friendship and identity. Simultaneously sweet and sobering, this is one you will not want to miss.”—Onyi Nwabineli, author of Someday, Maybe

“Cracking dialogue, fascinating storyline, compelling characters, and more. I loved this book.”—Jacqueline Crooks, author of Fire Rush

“A timely and tender story about a young woman caught up in a sweet romance, who finds herself grappling with the idea that love, too, is political to its very core.”—Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi, author of The Centre

“McIntosh adds depth and nuance to a concept that’s fascinated humans for centuries: the eternal search for self and knowing where you come from. She raises important questions about allyship, belonging, and intergenerational trauma. The writing is sharp and vulnerable, and Dominoes gripped me until the final page.”—Georgina Lawton, author of Raceless

“Playwright McIntosh debuts with a thought-provoking study of race, ancestry, and inheritance based on her one-woman play of the same name. . . . This stimulating portrayal of a fraught familial history is sure to spark debate.”—Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593596685
ISBN-10: 0593596684
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English