The Unmarked Girl, and the rest of The YaraStar Trilogy, follows the journey of Yara who was born into a world without markings (like DNA). She longs to belong to the tribe that found her and to be a warrior against their enemy tribe, but her unknown origins breed suspicion among most. The series seeks to answer this question through powerful obstacles ranging from the ethical to the ethereal as Yara begins a quest to find herself, know herself, and be herself. Author Jeanelle Frontin’s inspiration for the book was an initially painful experience that helped her eventual transition through certain parts of her life. This journey took the form of Yara, her protagonist, who had a similar yet quite distinct story to share. “I believe that when we open ourselves to diligently learning our lessons, we are given stories that we can now understand and share with others.” Jeanelle further shared that quite a bit of internal soul-searching went into drawing out the depths of the story and recalls that “opening your imaginary world to public insight and scrutiny is both terrifying and liberating. “The book recently won the 2019 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean YA Literature.
In identifying key learnings from the entire exercise she reminded that sometimes you may think your everything is not good enough to the point you can have your ego bruised in the process but some of the imperfections reflected in the books, even if real, meant something to her. In such an instance just doing it was more important. At the same time “Don’t be too hard on yourself and to deadlines if it will improve your content.” Her third learning was recognizing that people would not necessarily react to your ending like you expected. Once people start identifying with your characters they in a sense no longer belong to you as the writer so they will have their own expectations on how the story should end. “Expect mixed reactions.”
As a person who does not really endorse staying in the lanes expected of her; and as a curious, passionate, multi-dimensional human committed to the continual finding and fulfilment of her purpose much more exciting things are expected of Jeanelle Frontin in the near future. She also recently released her memoirs “And she called it Worship!”