Official Review: A Jamaican Family'sSaga

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kdstrack
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Official Review: A Jamaican Family'sSaga

Post by kdstrack » 05 Feb 2019, 22:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Jamaican Family'sSaga" by Leonard Archie Wilson.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Leopold and Ulrica Steele gathered their four small children, boarded the SS Columbia, and left Jamaica in hopes of a better life in England. This couple would eventually have four more children. The book mainly recounts the life of Argyle, the last of the siblings born in Jamaica. We learn of his childhood antics with his siblings, his education at various English schools, his training in goldsmithing, and how he met his wife.

From Ulrica’s past, we learn about many unique Jamaican customs. Why did people call her a “goat’s mouth?” What motivated her to move her young family to England? Ulrica also carries a tragedy from the past in her heart. Her brother Raúl never returned from a fishing expedition with his cousin Alvin. This family mystery will eventually motivate Argyle to return to Jamaica to go on a quest for the uncle who was swallowed by the sea. Will he find the missing family member or is he chasing a ghost?

A Jamaican Family’s Saga by Leonard Archie Wilson comes under the genre of historical fiction. The author takes the reader on a journey through his family’s past that occurred in Jamaica, England, and the United States. He provides descriptions of each of the places where the family lived and how they had to adapt to each culture. Argyle learns the consequences of leaving his car unattended on the streets of England.

I enjoyed the descriptions of Argyle’s family life. Growing up with seven siblings meant there was never a dull moment in their home. He spoke about many happy moments as well as the typical family conflicts. How did his mother react when she discovered his rodent collection in his sock drawer? How did the death of his baby brother affect his life’s direction?

I encountered some time gaps in the story. One chapter contains a jump of thirty-two years. I found this to be jarring and contrary to the purpose of the book. The author invites the reader to follow his life and adventures but suddenly leaves the reader with a gap of several decades. I felt that this detracted from the story and left the reader confused and with many unanswered questions concerning those lost years.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The author shared entertaining and moving experiences from his life in three different countries. I encountered only a few missing apostrophes and some misspelled Spanish words. This is not a book for someone looking for a fast-paced action story. Readers who enjoy learning about other people’s life adventures and gaining wisdom from their experiences will benefit from this author’s compelling family saga. The tales of his youth and the search for his uncle are a touching and exciting read.

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A Jamaican Family'sSaga
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 Feb 2019, 08:32

Interesting. I know very little about Jamaica and their customs. It'd be fun to read this book just to get some more information. The time jumps would be a bit disconcerting for sure, though. Thanks.
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Post by kdstrack » 08 Feb 2019, 09:48

kandscreeley wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 08:32
Interesting. I know very little about Jamaica and their customs. It'd be fun to read this book just to get some more information. The time jumps would be a bit disconcerting for sure, though. Thanks.
The author's experiences were eye-opening. I did not know much about Jamaica either and enjoyed learning about their customs and beliefs. The time jumps were disconcerting because I was enjoying the story and felt let down when such a large amount of time was skipped over. Still, it was a great read and the author even threw in a bit of mystery! Thanks for commenting.

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Post by Kajori50 » 08 Feb 2019, 13:25

The author takes the reader on a journey through his family’s past that occurred in Jamaica, England, and the United States. He provides descriptions of each of the places where the family lived and how they had to adapt to each culture.
This seems like a good book to get a culturally diverse perspective.

Thank you for the lovely review.

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Post by kdstrack » 08 Feb 2019, 13:52

Kajori50 wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 13:25
The author takes the reader on a journey through his family’s past that occurred in Jamaica, England, and the United States. He provides descriptions of each of the places where the family lived and how they had to adapt to each culture.
This seems like a good book to get a culturally diverse perspective.

Thank you for the lovely review.
The author does emphasize his Jamaican upbringing. I liked that he gave some background on how his parents met. This takes the book back another generation and includes traditions and customs practiced by his parents. It was very interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Feb 2019, 19:14

The Jamaican culture sounds really interesting. The gaps in time are disappointing, but I enjoyed your candid review.

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Post by kdstrack » 08 Feb 2019, 19:26

Cecilia_L wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 19:14
The Jamaican culture sounds really interesting. The gaps in time are disappointing, but I enjoyed your candid review.
Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed this book and learned some new things about Jamaica!

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Post by Cotwani » 09 Feb 2019, 06:33

A gap of 32 years is truly jarring. Otherwise, the book looks enticing, especially reading first hand the adjustment of a family to 3 diverse cultures. Thank you for this informative review.
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Post by kdstrack » 09 Feb 2019, 07:21

Cotwani wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 06:33
A gap of 32 years is truly jarring. Otherwise, the book looks enticing, especially reading first hand the adjustment of a family to 3 diverse cultures. Thank you for this informative review.
It was a very interesting and informative book. He shared many things about Jamaica that were new to me, and I also learned some things about life in England! Thanks for commenting.

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Post by linham02660 » 09 Feb 2019, 10:47

Sounds like an interesting story. I like the cross-cultural part. Searching for answers about his missing relative sounds like quite a promising adventure. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by kdstrack » 09 Feb 2019, 11:21

linham02660 wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 10:47
Sounds like an interesting story. I like the cross-cultural part. Searching for answers about his missing relative sounds like quite a promising adventure. Thanks for the great review.
The book does present several different themes. That made it extra interesting. Hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for commenting.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 09 Feb 2019, 13:07

Firstly, this is an excellent review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Many elements of this book appeal to me. Jamaican culture is rich and I would enjoy learning more about it. I would also be interested in how the character deals with resolving the trauma of losing a family member tragically. Great review!
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Post by kdstrack » 09 Feb 2019, 16:30

Eva Darrington wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 13:07
Firstly, this is an excellent review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Many elements of this book appeal to me. Jamaican culture is rich and I would enjoy learning more about it. I would also be interested in how the character deals with resolving the trauma of losing a family member tragically. Great review!
The cultural notes were interesting. I liked that the author included the mystery about his uncle. It is an intriguing read. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for commenting.

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Post by FDKangwamu » 14 Feb 2019, 15:38

This is an interesting review that shows just enough about the book to intrigue the prospective reader.
As someone that's keen on travelling and learning new cultures I'd really love to get a copy of the book and read it.
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Post by kdstrack » 14 Feb 2019, 17:41

FDKangwamu wrote:
14 Feb 2019, 15:38
This is an interesting review that shows just enough about the book to intrigue the prospective reader.
As someone that's keen on travelling and learning new cultures I'd really love to get a copy of the book and read it.
Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

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