My first book renamed ‘Assigned From Beyond’ is my true life story, written in the third person with a sense of humour.It’s about my 18 years growing up in Jamaica and how I perceived life back then. I wrote it for my own therapy and hope that in some way, others can relate to aspects of it. You may view the synopsis here below:
Assigned From Beyond
Unfolding during the early Eighties in a remote village of Jamaica, this true life-story depicts a little girl’s heartfelt dilemma. Out of place and unable to fit in with the too predictable scenario of her friends and family members, Allison, the protagonist, grows introspective and becomes almost autistic.
Interwoven with vividly authentic dialogues, each sequence in this psychological drama is tempered with a sense of humour, satirically shedding light even upon the darkest times in her early life. Instead of the usual joys of childhood, the vulnerable girl is never allowed any time to relax or be playful, but has to satisfy with the void of her longings for a proper human life, continuously bombarded with a huge volume of tasks. Somehow, she manages to keep both her faith and sense of self, in spite of growing up in such an unhealthy atmosphere.
The story strings together a garland of seemingly unrelated incidents of the child’s innumerable calamities, adding to her already strained relationship with the antagonist, her harsh and insensitive father, Frank, who constantly dishes out his corporal punishments, cleverly camouflaged as discipline. With his military background, he carries on an inveterate inheritance of hatred, not just of his family but also toward his own self; gradually manifesting as the adversary of his own daughter on the battlefield called home, wherein his frustrated wife Joan appears to remain distantly involved in the troublesome upbringing of their only daughter.
Allison finds herself drowning in an ocean of suffering, tossed and turned by the forceful waves of woe, made worse by her parents’ lack of care and attention, even to her basic needs. On top of this deprivation, her father seems to go out of his way to impress upon her that, as the only girl in the family she is a most unwelcome burden. Appearing as the black sheep, she feels without hope of ending her destiny of despair, so heavily conditioned by an unfortunate and stigmatising birth.
Stereotyped and enslaved by typical yet unfounded speculations, none of the members of the family help in solidifying her sense of belonging. Impelled from deep within to fulfill the intense yearnings of her heart, she ponders about the quality of her own life and that of other beings; her mind remaining full of questions to which no one, whether young or old, can provide fully satisfying answers. In her personal quest to live in truth, Allison clearly sees through both her immediate and extended family’s mindless following of outdated traditions, based on their more or less conscious choice to misread and misinterpret religious scripture, just to maintain the status quo.
Isolated and devoid of even one true friend, Allison seeks solace in the bosom of Mother Nature, resorting to comfort herself with the company of her pets and other animals with whom she forms deep emotional bonds, sympathetic to the predicament of suffering their karma of captivity.
Impoverished in more ways than one and constantly at loggerheads with each other, her parents fail to notice that their only girl-child is growing up, not just physically but indeed emotionally undernourished. Consequently, when not experiencing a gross type of suffering, Allison is left coldly and plainly ignored. Even when falling prey to numerous illnesses, she knows it is only in a matter of life and death that she will be taken to the local doctors. Up against this mistreatment and faced with an apparently endless stream of adversities, the teenager rapidly runs out of coping skills, reaching the peak of her justified anger.
Wishing to break her mental chains and seriously contemplating to physically reciprocate with her father’s unrighteous ways, the traumatised girl prepares herself to embark upon a courageous journey, to finally leave behind the overgrown wilderness of all that negativity.
Dreaming about escaping to London where her concerned uncle Ivan lives, she hopes against hope that Providence will somehow permit her the escape, as Ivan becomes increasingly aware of her shelterless situation and eventually agrees to sponsor his niece to a new life there.
Eventually, the moment of truth arises, whether Frank has enough sense and parental care to allow the teenager to leave the family behind. Predictably, he maintains his unsympathetic disposition. By the will of Providence, he finally agrees to her needing his urgent cooperation. Spurred on by a rumour that a group of local thugs are planning to molest the young lady by carrying out a gang-rape, Frank makes the necessary arrangements, however grudgingly, for his daughter’s speedy send-off from the tropical island, into a new chapter of her unpredictable life in the United Kingdom.