Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Rum to Roots by Lloyd Francis

From Rum to Roots
by Lloyd G. Francis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 Publication Date: August 12, 2013
Publisher: Marway Publishing
ISBN: 0989216101
Page Count: 450
Genre: Adult Literature & Fiction
Available to Purchase From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Overview:
In 1937 near Portland Cottage, in southern Jamaica, on a huge sugar estate, Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of the owner of the plantation, works making rum. Meanwhile in Kingston, Daisy, helps her mother managing an ice business and dreams of joining her elder sister in New York.

Seeking opportunity, Linton leaves the deep Jamaican countryside for New York and the collapse of the ice business and family crises force Daisy to leave Kingston, seeking a new start in the United States. They encounter a vibrant Jamaican-American community in New York, where they meet at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Becoming American citizens, they marry, and start a family. Ambition drives them to start a business and Linton capitalizes on a skill he learned as a young man in Jamaica, making a drink known in Jamaica as “Roots.” It proves wildly popular and the company, Family Roots, prospers beyond Linton’s and Daisy’s wildest dreams.

By 1986, the drink is a sensation. Money flows in, but something is missing. Happiness is as scarce as freshwater in the middle of the sea. Wrestling with their past while living in a land of plenty, Linton and Daisy discover that truth is the only avenue to happiness


My Review:
Two young Jamaican immigrants come to the United States in search of a better life, each with their own reasons for leaving their homes and the family behind. Meeting in a new country, with so much in common, both filled with ambition, they marry, raise a family and find success of sorts living the American Dream. But does financial success really give them the happiness they dream of?

Linton McMann was born the secret son of a wealthy plantation owner, not afforded the luxury of claiming his birthright, yet expected to be “better” than other plantation workers by a father who is demanding and often harsh, for “appearance sake.” Daisy sees her opportunity to leave behind her old life when he mother’s business flounders, but she has left more than bad memories in Jamaica. Is the ability to buy whatever she wanted and live an excessive lifestyle worth what she has given up? Have Linton and Daisy over-indulged their young children in an effort to forget their pasts? Will there be resentment from the new additions to the family? The clash between the new life in the United States and the old one in Jamaica becomes more apparent as each day passes and a sometimes na├»ve younger generation finds a “romantic legend” in a hated past for their parents. Will past mistakes haunt the future? In the long run, was the American Way really an improvement over the Jamaican way of life? How does one get back to their roots?

Told over decades of time, and miles of cultural differences, by Lloyd G. Francis tells an emotionally deep tale of longing for a better life, and finding that maybe the grass isn’t always as green as it looks. Life is what you make it, how you value it and whether you truly know what is important. This is tale has its dark sides and the drama often runs high, as each well-developed character adds their piece to the story. Perfectly interspersed lighter moments add brilliant depth to this family saga. Each scene comes to life, from the racial/class issues in Jamaica to the excesses of America.

Publication Date: August 12, 2013
Publisher: Marway Publishing
ISBN: 0989216101
Page Count: 450
Genre: Adult Literature & Fiction
Available to Purchase From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

No comments:

Post a Comment