“A complex tale of love, truth, identity, self-discovery and betrayal which shuttles between Jamaica and London, from the turbulent 70s to the present day.”
Jenni O’Connor’s description of her self-pub e-book is an excellent summing up. The heroine is Monique, a journalist of Jamaican descent who goes back to Jamaica for the funeral of a much-loved aunt to uncover the dark side of present-day Jamaicaand secrets in her family’s past. At heart it’s a thriller and I like it for the rich evocation of Jamaica, convincing dialogue and clearly defined characters, from firebrand dissident Mary to the malevolent and boorish Devon Jones. As the plot gathers pace, Jenni also fills in the ‘back stories’ of her main characters in separate chapters. I expected this to be a distraction from the main thrust of the story, but in fact these chapters are beautifully written with a real feel for Jamaicans at home and abroad. The story of June and Owen emigrating to UK recalled Andrea Levi’s Small Island and in this respect Jenni’s writing, if less literary, is equally affecting. Some aspects of the plot didn’t quite work for me (I would have liked a few more surprises towards the end) but this is still an entertaining and engrossing read.
The book is well presented with a professional cover design and typos few and far between. As indie pubs go, this definitely cuts the mustard.
5 thoughts on “e-pub review: Reach for a Different Sun”
Her synopsis is in similar style to mine for ‘The Bathonians’ I published on lulu.com. Are we subconsciously using an old formula? If so, what other books have done this?
‘The Bathonians’: Kate is at the heart of a group of friends in Bath, England and abroad. Their lives and relationships result in picaresque episodes of love, passion, unexpected alliances, betrayal, trauma, and death. Yet, from the chaos, emerge strange patterns and epiphanies.
Interesting! From what I remember of your Bath stories they are very different in style to Jenni’s writing. Also, despite the flashbacks, RFDS, has a more direct plot line (if that makes sense). But yes, I often notice that synopses and pitches have similar ring, as if there’s an expectation they will include stock elements, while the books are probably very dissimilar. A case of how you tell it?
Sounds like a good read.
Yes, I did enjoy the Jamaican vibe, although there were one or two things I itched to change!
Thanks Ali… I do hope anyone who chooses to read it enjoys it; out of interest, let me know sometime what you wanted to change!