Hues of Blackness: A Jamacian Saga
This historical fictionalised novel immediately grabs attention from the outset with its quality glossy cover and professional presentation, and this continues throughout the pages with good layout and informative extras, such as an excellent detailed family tree reference and a glossary of island words and phrases, which aids the story and helps with the understanding of the genealogy.
The tale is relayed from the locked voice of Amy, lying in her bed unable to move or speak after suffering a debilitating stroke. Her voice is compounded inside a suffering body which ironically, although now a real physical manifestation, would describe similar feelings and frustrations that many of her family in past generations had felt. The story begins around 1430 on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean and continues through to the present day, encompassing a detailed and mesmerising account of the island’s history from the female experience. We encounter many passages of time and occupations from the Amerindian people, the Tainos, who came before the European invasions, and the free hill dwellers, the Maroons. The beginnings of slavery shows its ugly hand between the pages and is acutely encompassed in daily life amongst the battles of higher arch rivalry between women and men with all its horrors and scars, still visible to this day. This stark harshness and reality of slavery is unavoidable and determines the strength and character of each female throughout generations, fueling her need to find acceptance in the part that her generations played to the masters of the plantations.
Rosey Thomas Palmer shines through as an experienced, competent writer, telling this important story with colourful compassion. A fantastic read and highly recommended.