An immersive and propulsive journey into adulthood that so piercingly questions pride, hope, and family. Don Mount Court comes alive in a collision of care, control, abuse, and love. What a privilege it is to share in Delia Ellis's diary, and life.
Derek Mascarenhas, author of Coconut Dreams
Denise Da Costa’s And the Walls Came Down is a stunning addition to the new novels about Toronto, written by immigrants or their children, that claim the city, rightfully, as their own. It is also a complex and poignant portrait of a mother, a family and a world all falling apart, and a child’s attempt to survive this.
Shyam Selvadurai, author of Mansions of the Moon
A scintillating debut full of nuanced and achingly human characters. Denise Da Costa’s ability to write poetic yet economical sentences that pack a profound emotional punch makes for a compelling and rich reading experience. This novel is a beautiful exploration of memory and perception and will linger in the minds of readers long after they’ve finished.
Zalika Reid-Benta, author of Frying Plantain
And the Walls Came Down charts a bright, heartbroken young woman’s return to the ruins of her past. Stuck on the threshold of the rest of her life, Delia must reclaim her story in order to move on. As she reckons with a childhood haunted by loss, the city around her crackles with danger and friendship — not to mention the rush of first love. The result is a beautiful, necessary novel of resilience and renewal.
Alissa York, author of Far Cry
A complicated dance of memory, identity and community. What a gift of a novel.
Helen Walsh, author of Pull Focus
A moving and unflinching portrait of family life as told through Delia, a woman who revisits early memories through her childhood diary. This distinctly Toronto story catapults readers into her inner world where togetherness meets abandonment and hope rubs alongside deprivation.
Tendisai Cromwell, writer and filmmaker
Chronicles an old soul and a young woman, both vying for belonging in a world that fights against them until they settle into one spirit. Striking and compelling, Da Costa weaves voices that are distinct yet inseparable.
Victoria Abboud, author and educator
A moving glimpse into the immigrant experience through the eyes of an intelligent, independent teenager as she navigates growing up in face of family break-up and poverty. Seamlessly, Delia shares her pains and joys, sheds light into the harsh reality of Don Mount public housing in Toronto, and archives part of local and social history.
Maria Sabaye Moghaddam, author and educator
A fascinating and quintessentially Toronto story, capturing the grit of the city’s east-end in the 1990s. An insightful account of how memory and family collide with the stories we create for ourselves.
James D. Papoutsis, author and educator
Sparky, bright, blunt, and straight-shooting … Da Costa knocked it out of the park with this debut.
The Miramichi Reader