Now then, here is an unusual book. The Same Earth was written by Jamaican writer, Kei Miller and was published in 2008.
It is not a particularly long book, but somehow it hits the spot and awakens your curiosity. The story centres around the main character Imelda Richardson, an only child born to doting older parents. It follows her from childhood through to adulthood and we experience her desire to leave Watergate, Jamaica and go to England.
The book is unique in that there is an ensemble of interesting and colourful characters who all have miniature stories to tell. In fact, The Same Earth can be viewed as lots of different stories that make up the whole, all these characters sharing The Same Earth.
I found The Same Earth, funny in places, and serious in other places. It is written in a light-hearted style that fully engages all your senses to the point you can almost feel the heat on your face and hear the buzz of mosquitoes when the book takes you back to Jamaica! So yes, it is vivid allowing you to escape to other worlds. Isn’t this the role of good fiction!
The novel is written with chapter headings and dated, with the story ranging from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. It’s not a novel you can fall asleep to (or would want to) as the relatively short chapters dip in and out of the lives of its many characters.
I think The Same Earth is one of those books you have to read and make your own mind up about. If I have any criticism at all it’s that at times I did lose sight of the main character, Imelda Richardson. But, Kei Miller has won awards for his writing, so I’d better sit up and learn, let alone anyone else…
Have a read and tell me what you think.
Here is a list of Kei Miller’s other works including poetry. Enjoy!
- Fear of Stones and Other Stories (short stories), 2006
- Kingdom of Empty Bellies (poems), 2006
- The is an Anger That Moves, 2007
- The Same Earth (novel), 2008
- The Last Warner Woman (novel), 2010
- A Light Song of Light (poems), 2010
- Writing Down the Vision: Essays & Prophecies, 2013
- The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (poems), 2014
- Augustown, (novel), 2016
Until next time, Happy Reading and Writing, S