Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
Like a supercharged episode of the BBC series 'Who do you think you are'...
on 16 July 2010
I'd never heard of Jackie Kay before and didn't know anything about this book apart from the little that is said on the book jacket. I thought that the book starting with the meeting with her birth father was a bit clunky and I would have preferred that the book had started with the account of her childhood with her (wonderful) adoptive parents and brother but I guess that this way quickly established the deep wound at the centre of her life. With the account of her childhood I quickly got into the book and I began to cry and I didn't really stop throughout the whole book! I found it all very, very emotional - like a supercharged episode of the BBC series "Who do you think you are" - although I have never personally experienced anything like this myself. However, I did empathise with the accounts of Jackie's meetings with her birth mother who, like my own mother, was developing dementia (more crying).
I thought the book was beautifully written, I enjoyed the jumps in time and space - from Glasgow to Nigeria, from Aberdeen to Milton Keynes - which seemed to flow naturally and replicate the haphazard nature of memory. And I got a real sense of all these places, particularly Nigeria (the red dust road of the title). I thought that this was an amazingly powerful book, full of warmth and very funny but I'm really glad to have finished it so I can finally stop bloody crying!