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History of Jamaica
History of Jamaica
by Clinton Black
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 22 Aug 2014
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This review is from: History of Jamaica (Paperback)
I read this book as a student in lower school in Jamaica. It sets out in a simple, easy to understand way, the early history of the island: from the first inhabitants to the arrival of Columbus and the beginning of Spanish colonialism, the arrival of the first African slaves to the English conquest. It traces the growth of the sugar estates and slave society, the expansion of slavery and the slave trade to the end of slavery and the beginning of indentured labour to the birth of modern Jamaica with independence on 6 August 1962. This History of Jamaica by Clinton Black is a must on the reading list for all students of Caribbean history.


The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
by Ian Thomson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Sense of Balance, 30 Jun 2014
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The Dead Yard is well researched and Thomson writes with authority and a strong sense of balance. Every page bursts with credibility, offers up genuine nuggets, things that only Jamaicans should know. The Dead Yard is, in fact, a short comprehensive history of the island. It presents harsh uncompromising reality which some Jamaicans may find hard to swallow. But they should because it is all true.


Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
by Christie Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable novel, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (Paperback)
I don't read books on the strength of reviews alone. I always go by instinct. Eight out of ten times I am very well rewarded. This is a remarkable novel - even the title jumped out at me. Christie Watson is brilliant. It's amazing that this is her first novel. At first I thought I was reading a Nigerian writer, someone steeped in Nigerian culture. A very well researched book by a genuine writer of quality.


The Pink House at Appleton
The Pink House at Appleton
by Jonathan Braham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the casual reader, 20 April 2012
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Although the cover of this book (showing the silhouette of two playing children with their arms reaching out) suggests that it is a children's book, this is very much an adult novel. Harold Brookes, the black Jamaican middle-class father of three and husband of Victoria Brookes, is having if off with Ann Mitchison, the white English wife of the assistant general manager at Appleton sugar estate. He does this while at home preaching to his children about the importance of values and principles and at the same time despising `other people', those who are socially inadequate and unskilled. There is also a dark secret in his past - he has a former mistress with whom he's had a child. This novel explores the themes of adultery and betrayal and Mr Bookes is guilty on both counts. Victoria Brookes, dutiful and sensitive, wants to realize her dream of becoming a designer `somebody of her very own, not just a housewife and mother', but her dreams are brutally crushed by her single-minded husband.

This is also a coming-of-age novel. The young Boyd Brookes, eight years old, and Susan Mitchison, seven years old, are both involved in a secret relationship where they `meet' from time to time in sensual dreams and musings. Boyd finds the naked female form fascinating and troubling - he pores over nude pictures in the encyclopaedia, secretly observe the maids under the shower, and is fixated with breasts. He sucks flowers in the garden and is attracted to his Aunt Enid whose breasts are `like soft toffee'. He craves understanding of his powerful feelings about music, his parents making love at night, and his burgeoning sexuality. He is an unusual and memorable character as he comes of age in his environment, with the people, particularly the women, in his life. The `incident' involving Boyd and Susan is completely misconstrued by the adults. Where the children see innocence and beauty the adults see only guilt and wrongdoing. And this is what the book is about: innocence and guilt, beauty and ugliness.

This is not a novel for the casual reader, someone who wants instant gratification. You need to settle down at home in a comfortable spot and be beguiled by delightful prose that brings the various scenes and characters to life vividly and sensuously. This work is thoughtful, compelling, at times frustrating, but a poetic, memorable experience.


Reflections: 20+ Shorts < 10 > Mins.
Reflections: 20+ Shorts < 10 > Mins.
by T. C. Camp
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stories, 24 Mar 2012
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"Reflections" is a volume of engagingly frank, fascinating and entertaining tales mostly set in Jamaica. T.C. Camp is an imaginative, vivid and prolific storyteller and I hope we'll hear a lot more from him. The stories are fine examples of his blend of humour, keen observation of people, places and things. He writes with genuine authority. My favourites are Aunt Mary's Run-Dung, Kill or Cure and the poignant essay on personal loss, Release. Beautifully and sincerely written. If, like me, you like reading tales of old Jamaica eloquently told, ie reflections on our past, then this is certainly the book for you.


Ricin!: The Inside Story of the Terror Plot That Never Was
Ricin!: The Inside Story of the Terror Plot That Never Was
by Lawrence Archer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking Revelations, 21 Nov 2011
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I read this book at one sitting. It is well written and constructed, and difficult to put down. It tells the true story of the ricin plot, the trial and the effect on all the key people involved. Lawrence Archer, the chairman of the jury, is very brave to tell this true and powerful story that gives a unique insight into how the criminal justice system, the government and the security forces work.

Ricin! is thought-provoking, compelling and a must read for anyone who is interestedin, and cares deeply about our democracy. Highly recommended.


A Perilous Secret. [a Novel.]
A Perilous Secret. [a Novel.]
by Charles Reade
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the complete Novel!, 4 Jun 2011
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This edition is not the complete novel, only the first volume. Pity this was not stated on the site.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance of the 1950s, 27 Nov 2010
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A young, innocent, romantic perfume of the 1950s. Totally without guilt and pretensions. The perfume of the young woman of virtue and passions and without vice.


The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
by David Remnick
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 Jun 2010
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This is the whole story, detailed and riveting, written by someone who's taken the time to unearth the facts. There is so much I've learned about Obama's background after reading this book when I thought I knew everything. Very well researched.


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