In 1937 near Portland Cottage, in southern Jamaica, on a huge sugar estate, Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of the owner of the plantation, works making rum.
Meanwhile in Kingston, Daisy, helps her mother managing an ice business and dreams of joining her elder sister (Iris) in New York.
Seeking opportunity, Linton leaves the deep Jamaican countryside for New York and the collapse of the ice business and family crises force Daisy to leave Kingston, seeking a new start in the United States.
They encounter a vibrant Jamaican-American community in New York, where they meet at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Becoming American citizens, they marry, and start a family. Ambition drives them to start a business and Linton capitalizes on a skill he learned as a young man in Jamaica, making a drink known in Jamaica as “Roots.” It proves wildly popular and the company, Family Roots, prospers beyond Linton’s and Daisy’s wildest dreams.
By 1986, the drink is a sensation. Money flows in, but something is missing. Happiness is as scarce as freshwater in the middle of the sea.
Wrestling with their past while living in a land of plenty, Linton and Daisy discover that truth is the only avenue to happiness.
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I'm not using my usual review format for this book.
I don't know what exactly I was expecting but this book is better than anything I could expect.
This is an emotional and deep story of the longing for a better life.
The book is mostly in English with most of the dialogue in Patois (Jamaican dialect). At first, the Patios slows you down but you get used to it and it becomes easier to understand.
It is very well written. No plot holes. No unnecessary details. It's perfection
The book pulls you in and you feel like you're a one of the cast.
Every character is well developed and adds to the story. Each scene comes to life.
The novel, although enjoyable and interesting, isn't for light reading.
You should take away the lesson on the importance and value of life, hope, forgiveness and most of all; family.
Lloyd was born in Oakland in 1961, a first-generation American child to Jamaican parents. As a child his trips to Jamaica in the 60's and 70's shaped who he became.
Growing up in Hayward California he was steeped in the island tradition of reggae, Jamaican cuisine, and patois.
After studying engineering, Lloyd became a staff photographer for the San Jose Mercury News. He left newspapers to work for Yahoo Financial News Network and returned to journalism after 9-11. In 2001 Lloyd reported from Iraq for Newsweek Magazine, and went on to cover the war in Afghanistan. In 2004 he accepted a job with the Army Times Publishing Company and worked in Iraq intermittently for two years.
Examples of his work can be found here and here .
Lloyd returned to San Francisco in 2006. He lives with his wife, Leanne, his two sons, Marley and Waylon, a yellow nape Amazon parrot named Aquila and a rambunctious Red Lored Amazon parrot named Cosmo. He frequently takes long walks around San Francisco and Golden Gate Park, looking for great Instagram photographs.
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