I am obsessed with Jamaica, it is my favorite island in the Caribbean, apart from Trinidad and Tobago of course, so when my friend Leah bought this book and suggested that I give it a read, how could I say no? 😊This fascinating novel is set in the one of the most infamous places in Jamaica, August Town. It tells the story of a young Rastafarian boy, Kaia, (great-nephew of Ma Taffy) who one day had his dreadlocks cut off by his teacher, Mr. Saint-Josephs 😦😧 Kaia is the central figure of the book and all of the characters and all the events in the book center around him and his family.
Augustown is the first book that I have ever read from a Jamaican Author and it was written by Mr. Kei Miller. I really loved the book and I can’t wait to read another one from him. I found the writing style engrossing and I really could have finished the book in one weekend if I had a the time to just sit, read and drink some tea and eat some cheese puffs 🤗 I particularly enjoyed, the story of “The Flying Preacherman’ which painted a vivid picture of the community life in Augustown and the climax of the plot “The Autoclaps” which had me on my edge of my seat. I felt like I myself was in Augustown on these two legendary days.
What I found interesting is that many chapters began with the story of a new character who at the first seemed disconnected from the overall plot but as you continued reading you saw how intricately they fit in and were connected to Kaia or what happened to him for example, the story of Miss G and Mrs. G 😚 This just goes to show that although we may not live in the same areas, we may go to different schools or work in different buildings, we are all connected. Just as someone living in Beverly Hills, Jamaica can be connected to someone in August Town or someone living in Laventille can be connected to someone living in Maraval, Trinidad we must always remember that as … John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire onto itself“… we are all intertwined.
PS. My friend Leah and I both think that this book should be made into a play or a movie. I will love to see someone acting as Ma. Taffy and it will be fun to hear the conversations spoken in a real Jamaican accent. At one point, I asked my Jamaican friend Shana to read some of the lines from this book for me in Jamaican patois.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book include 😄:
“When the past takes hold of us, it does not let go easily. We find ourselves, miraculously, in two places at once.”
“She has to give Soft-Paw credit, though, for when he walks into the yard at night, he as usual, never makes a sound. It is as if the earth – every blade of grass, every stone – adjusts to make space for him, for the specific shape of his body, so that he walks without ever disturbing things.”
“You may as well stop to consider a more urgent question; not whether you believe in this story or not, but whether this story is about the kinds of people you have never taken the time to believe in.”
Check out some of my favorite songs about August Town:
If you want to know why I am obsessed with Jamaica, check out my friend’s blog where she highlights some of the most beautiful spots on the island. Check out this link: https://adventuresfromelle.com/
PS. I recently discovered the Metropolitan Book Store on Frederick Street, Port of Spain inside of Colsort Mall. This small bookstore has a treasure trove of books from Caribbean Authors. You should check it out 📚