The author of the “brazenly hilarious, tell-it-like-it-is first novel” (Oprah Daily) Queenie returns with another witty and insightful “treat” (Jesse Armstrong, creator of Succession) of a novel about the power of family—even when they seem like strangers.
If you could choose your family...you wouldn’t choose the Penningtons.
Dimple Pennington knows of her half-siblings, but she doesn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues. Dimple has bigger things to think about.
She’s thirty, and her life isn’t really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a wayward boyfriend, Dimple’s life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she’s never felt more alone in her life. That is, until a dramatic event brings her half-siblings—Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie, and Prynce—crashing back into her life. And when they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.
Vibrant and charming, People Person is “a way-out combination of family drama, madcap plot, and political edge” (Kirkus Reviews).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Family bonds are put to the test in this dark comedy from author Candice Carty-Williams. Nikisha, Dimple, Lizzie, Prynce and Danny are five twentysomethings living in Brixton, England, with very little in common other than Cyril Pennington, the skirt-chasing Jamaican bus driver who happens to be their father. When a bad breakup and some spilled vegetable oil leaves Dimple standing over her abusive boyfriend’s dead body, she has no one to call…except for her half-siblings. While the heart of this story is a black-humored farce, Carty-Williams uses this as a starting point to explore the family’s tenuous bonds, as well as the experiences of mixed-race individuals living in England. Whether it’s the bossy eldest sister, Nikisha, the ambitious med student Lizzie, or the happy-go-lucky Danny, we loved seeing how these quirky characters managed to overcome adversity and bond in unexpected ways. People Person is an uproarious comedy of errors that had us asking ourselves the age-old question…whom would we call to bury the body?
Carty-Williams's underwhelming sophomore effort (after Queenie) follows five London siblings and half siblings who were raised by their mothers, and hardly glimpsed their father, Jamaican playboy bus driver Cyril Pennington. As adults, they've gone their separate ways, never having cause to interact, much less build meaningful relationships. That is, until protagonist Dimple Pennington, an aspiring social media influencer at 30 who lives with her mother, lands in hot water after a fight with her abusive boyfriend, Kyron, ends with him slipping and falling in their kitchen. Dimple, worried Kyron is dead and she will be accused of murder, calls her oldest sister, Nikisha, for help, and Nikisha arrives on the scene with the other three siblings—a dramatic if implausible development. A wild romp ensues as they try to hide Kyron's body. As Dimple faces a ticking clock involving a nude photo and blackmail, the plot oscillates between the quest to put the incident with Kyron behind them and the siblings' developing relationships with one another. As Cyril slips back into their lives, they begin to understand him through his own family history. The juicy premise gives way to conflicts that are solved too easily, and there are too many anticlimactic scenes. There's potential here, but's rather frustratingly not realized. Agents: Deborah Schneider and Gelfman Schneider, ICM Partners.
I enjoyed this book. I dragged a bit but enjoyed the bond that was created.