‘A striking story with an unforgettable cast of characters you’d expect to find in the grandest work of fiction.’ CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS
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Jamaica, 1968: Erna Mullings’ life is near perfect, living in a remote village with her beloved grandparents. That is, until the day her three younger siblings are torn from the family home and taken to London to live with their biological father. Now, the world that Erna knows is set to change irrevocably.
A compelling coming-of-age novel based on the author’s own experiences, The Day I Fell Off My Island is engrossing, courageous and psychologically insightful. Uniquely it bears witness to life Erna’s life in Jamaica as well as her new life in London.
Yvonne Bailey-Smith writes with great warmth and humanity about reluctant immigration and the relationship between children and the people who parent them. Hers is a story of estrangement, transition and, ultimately, the triumph of resilience and hope.
A psychotherapist and former social worker, she explains:
‘As an immigrant child, I often wished that someone had been able to take me aside and explain to me that leaving everything I knew to go on a so-called adventure to somewhere way beyond my imagination was going to cause me an unimaginable sense of loss and sadness. I also wish that the same person had been there to reassure me that I would survive and even flourish, given half a chance.’