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Olga – A Daughter’s Tale by Marie-Thérèse Browne

The Book:

John and Lucy Sinclair travel to Jamaica to start their new life. Lucy invites her sisters Becky and Martha to join her after a while of living there. Becky falls in love with a black man and decides to get married; while Martha angered by Becky’s decision leaves Jamaica and heads back to London. The story fast-forwards there.

Becky has eleven children and Olga is among the younger tots. Olga spends all of her childhood in Jamaica but decides to go to London and stay with Aunt Martha while she learns dance. Unfortunately her dancing class does not start till late and a turn of events make her to enroll for a nursing class. Will Olga become a nurse and return to Jamaica? Or will life play its subtle cruel games with her?

The View:

I have a soft corner for books that use the diary form of narration after I read ‘The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank’. Since then, I have read a few books and have realized that many of the authors in an effort to commercialize; fail to describe the true emotions of the person writing the diary. After ages, ‘Olga – A Daughter’s Tale’ reminded me once again of how much I love this form of narration.

This book has all the elements of a great story : Love, resentment, jealousy, misery, war, cruelty and courage. Olga had an unconditional love for her family and would do anything to keep them happy. She also had a strong need to protect them and hence was willing to go through the toughest phase of her life with a small child all alone. My heart cried when she was raped and even more so when she did not realize her pregnancy. How innocent could yet not spared? As I read this book I went through a roller coaster of emotions – happiness, sadness, sympathy and obviously anger.

The story reflects a multitude of emotions at each phase and with each character. All of the characters no matter how trivial played their part with honestly and realism. But Olga supersedes every other person. She is an epitome of love, innocence and vulnerability. There were times when I just wanted to hug her tight, when she was raped, when her nursing career halted and when her employers were mean to her. But there were also times when I picked lessons from her – to stand up for myself and to keep my pride intact.

To say I enjoyed the book would be an underestimation of what I felt when I read this. The book is a wonderful tribute by Marie to her brave mother. I could not put this book down halfway through and when I finished it, I kept telling myself … this would be a darn good movie. Rated a 5 on 5 and is falls in the category of “one of the best books I have read in 2011”.

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.



One Response

  1. Love your review and now want to read this. Hopefully I can free up some time soon to read it.

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