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The True History of Paradiseby Margaret Cezair Thompson
Synopses & Reviews
It is 1981. Jean Landing secretly plans to flee her beloved Jamaica–the only home her family has ever known, a place now rife with political turmoil. But before she can make her final preparations, she receives devastating news: Lana, her sister, is dead. The country’s state of emergency leaves no time to arrange a proper funeral. Even Jean’s mother, Monica, who hadn’t spoken to Lana in more than a decade, cannot fully embrace her grief.
The tragedy only underscores Jean’s need to leave an island that holds no promise of a future. Her harrowing journey to freedom across a battered landscape takes Jean through a terrain of memories: of her childhood, with a detached mother at odds with an adoring father, of her complex bond with Lana, and of the friends and lovers who have shaped and shared her days. Epic in scope, The True History of Paradise poignantly portrays the complexities of family and racial identity in a troubled Eden.
In her debut novel, the award-winning author of The Pirate's Daughter tells the captivating story of three generations of women and their hardship, struggle, love, and survival
After the violent death of her older sister Lana, Jean Landing vows to flee Jamaica, which is in a state of national emergency. Jean's beloved homeland, simultaneously beautiful and violent, no longer holds a future for her. As she crosses the lush landscape of Blue Mountains and bougainvillea, rich African rhythms and expressive patois--with perhaps the only man she's ever loved by her side--Jean's memories and the voices of her ancestors engulf her, entreating her to stay, warning her to leave.
The True History of Paradise is a beautiful novel that suggests that the history of a land is inextricable from the story of its people, and especially its daughters.
About the Author
Margaret Cezair-Thompson is the author of the widely acclaimed The Pirates Daughter, a #1 Book Sense pick, finalist for Book Sense Book of the Year, and winner of the first annual Essence literary award for fiction. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, she teaches literature and creative writing at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
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