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The Same Earth by Kei Miller
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The Same Earth (2008)

by Kei Miller

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"In a village like Watergate everything is seen, every movement known"
By sally tarbox on 23 June 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Not a must-read, but an engaging work set in a Jamaican village.
The narrative opens with an educated local woman deciding - angrily - to once again leave her hometown. We learn a little of her recent history: her well-meant initiative to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme given short-shrift by the preacher ("Nobody can watch you like Jesus"); a flood; an unrequited love for a local Rastaman...
Over the rest of the book, in a series of short stories, the author introduces us to the people who make up the village. He takes us back to Imelda's childhood, her experiences in London; and relates incidents in the lives of her neighbours, from children's pranks to religious extremism; a stand-offish gay accountant, an honest washerwoman... little incidents that go to build a picture of the place.

There are some quite poetic passages, thus of a mother whose son is wrongly jailed: " Tessa learned once again, as every human will learn a hundred times during his or her lifetime, about the many chambers of the heart where things too awful to touch or utter or look at can be stored. It is not that she forgot about Zero, but that she took her grief and folded it neatly like a tablecloth, placed it in a drawer and closed it. When she was alone at nights, she would sometimes open that drawer and put her hands in, run her palms across the fabric of her grief. But she did not take it outside any more."

An enjoyable read, probably *3.5. ( )
  starbox | Jun 22, 2017 |
I did enjoy reading this, but now that I've finished it, I thought the ending was quite anti-climatic. The plot was a bit dull, and some of the characters were confusing. It was funny in places, and I liked the parts about an immigrant's experience of England. ( )
  pokarekareana | Jun 2, 2010 |
This is an excellent novel, it is funny, witty and a pleasure to read. ( )
  alalba | Mar 3, 2009 |
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For Michael Schmidt, Michael Moineau and Michael Andrew.
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Imelda Agnes Richardson learned something important on the morning of 29 September 1983; she found out things could change overnight.
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After spending her adult years in England, where her parents sent her for a better life, Imelda Richardson returns to the small village of Watersgate, Jamaica. The village is still dominated by the Evangelical church, and a Pentecostal fervour threatens to sweep both sinners and the righteous away.… (more)

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