5 out of 5 stars
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Rebuilding and rebranding can be difficult. The most challenging aspect is finding the strength and the motivation to rise again. In this book, Celina Caesar-Chavannes takes us through a walk in the garden, which is her life in this instance. As a child, Celina sought attention from her parents, as she did not feel like she was getting enough of it. She attributed this to the fact that she had not bonded with them during the years she had been left behind in the Caribbean after her parents moved to Canada. Moving from a place where she stayed with her grandparents and had all the attention to a place where she was not getting enough of it and was expected to act like a proper little Caribbean girl seemed to take a toll on her as she did anything possible to get attention.
Celina, being a bright child, excelled in her studies, especially because she enjoyed the joy she saw on her mother's face when she presented her results. However, her need to rebel against her parents and their rules sought to overpower her academic excellence, and she makes a lot of mistakes which sends her spiraling down. Does she come out of this? How far down does her rebellious behavior take her?
Can You Hear Me Now? has a lot of positive aspects. First, I loved the author's writing style. I appreciated the fact that the book was comical, and the narrative technique used was fantastic. I did not envision myself being glued to a nonfiction book in that manner. I honestly forgot at some point that the book was nonfiction and sometimes wondered if the author made some of the things in the book up; I'm sure she didn't. The book was educative. I learned a lot about how immigrants lived in Canada and some of the rules the families, at the time the author lived there as a child, set for their children. I learned a lot about the experience of immigrants. I particularly loved the fact that the book shed light on racism, which honestly seems to be a neverending issue in the world. In this book, the author explained how it affected her father at his workplace and how it generally affected her life.
I loved how the author related her past events to her present. She talked about how some of her actions affected her life. For instance, the author mentioned how skipping classes affected her grades. This helped to show me that there are consequences to certain actions we take. The book covered a lot of aspects. It showed how victimization, especially of victims of sexual assault, prevents people from speaking up about their experiences, and I found this to be something that should be worked on in society. I loved how the author chose to be open and acknowledge places where she was wrong. She did not try to paint herself as a perfect person. I also got to understand the importance of self-love, truth, and good parenting. I learned a lot about the author's experience in politics as a Black woman.
I found nothing to dislike about this book. It was simply mind-blowing, and I couldn't spot any errors. Therefore, I rate it five out of five. There's a lot I loved about this book, and I would advise that you grab a copy of the book to get the wonderful experience I got from it. This book was even shortlisted for the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing!
I recommend this book to anyone seeking motivation to work through the difficulties of life. It proves that it is never too late for anyone in life, regardless of race, gender, or age. I also recommend it to lovers of nonfiction. I can assure anyone who picks up this book that they will have a blast. You would certainly find your voice after reading this book as Celina found hers.
Can You Hear Me Now?
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