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Lola grew up on an island that doesn’t exist anymore.

It no longer swarms with yellow butterflies, is no longer filled with the sound of birds arguing over cane sugar out on the porch, lizards scuffling in the leaves, and stray dogs stretching out in the sun. Even the house she grew up in—a little crumbling shack she loved — has been taken away from her. The world that Lola idealized as a child has vanished. Even more so when Kit, her little brother, is born.

Kit has never known the “real” island — he’s five years late. He wakes up to the sound of drills and tractors, bulldozers digging into the earth, tearing the once deserted beaches apart to build condos and villas. The fishermen are all gone from their neighborhood. The monkeys and the butterflies and the mongoose have all vanished. The oldest tamarind trees have been plucked by their roots.

Almost a decade later, Lola remembers her brother during hurricane season.

Where is Kit now? Off the coast of Australia, Bali, The Grenadines? Lola has only received a handful of postcards since Kit vanished, two weeks before his eighteenth birthday. That was seven years ago.

As she waits for a letter, a postcard, any sign of her brother’s survival, Lola revisits the secret landscape of their childhood, their tender, but volatile relationship with their parents, and the war they fought together, sweat and tears, against the bulldozers tearing their island apart.


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