I was excited to read Born on an Island – Stories from a Trinidadian Girlhood by Golda Lee Bruce for two reasons; I am Trinbagonian as is she, and when you watch the news presented night after night in your living room by the same person for months and years, you feel like you know her after a while and that she’s your friend. (Tell me I am not the only one) 😊.
I preordered my copy and delved right in, not from the beginning but somewhere in the middle. Don’t ask me why, I just did. That’s one of the first things I liked about this book, you do not have to read it in chronological order. Although there is connectivity in all the stories you can read them in random order and not be lost because each one is complete in and of itself.
The stories in Born on an Island are about life and living and the relationships and experiences that make them. They are real stories about real people and show the intricacies and complexities of relationships. It reads like a coming-of-age novel to some degree because the reader gets to see Golda grow up.
Through her stories, Golda tells of her life and the people, places and things which have molded her into the woman she is today. In the same way, she has taught us that we are the sum of everything that has happened and that is happening to us right now. So do not discount any experience, good, bad, or indifferent because each one is making you uniquely you.
The stories give more than a glimpse of what growing up on an island is like and dive into the importance of family and the extended family. While I read it, I thought that although Golda was a news anchor, it was her family that anchored her. Her granny became my granny, Uncle Andre became my uncle as well. By allowing the reader into her home we also share in the intimacy, joy and sadness alike, of her family.
I will definitely recommend for your next read.