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Book Review: That Reminds Me

Barbara Grant

2020

Derek Owusu’s startling debut, That Reminds Me, shows us that love is fragile, and adults are not always the best caretakers. It is a powerful, sometimes haunting fictional memoir, about the failure of love, narrated through the eyes of a young vulnerable black boy called K.
K is placed into the care system by his Ghanaian mother. He knows not why. His early childhood years are spent in foster care, in a rural community based outside of London. A place where the colour of his skin sets him apart.
Split into five chronological sections, with a narrator who recites K’s life to Anansi, the renowned trickster in Caribbean and West African folklore, they contain fragments of stories, building up a complex picture of a troubled life.
Life in care is not the refuge his mum may have hoped. His foster home and school memories are peppered with hidden abuse, neglect and spitefulness as K struggles with his identity in a cruel, loveless foster family.