Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.
When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he's a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth. Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?
Funny, emotional and raw, with the Notting Hill Carnival acting as the backdrop of this retelling of West Side Story, by the Sunday Times bestselling author of Queenie.
Candice Carty-Williams is an author and journalist based in London. She was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a dyslexic Jamaican-Indian receptionist. Candice worked in other media before moving into publishing aged 23. In 2016, she created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Short Story Prize. She is a Penguin Books WriteNow mentor, and she writes regularly for Refinery29, BEAT Magazine, the Guardian and i-D. Her first novel, Queenie, came out in 2019. She can be found on Twitter at @CandiceC_W.