Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Olga: A Daughter's Tale by Marie-Thérèse Browne

Title:Olga: A Daughter's Tale
Author:Marie-Thérèse Browne
Pub. Date:06/07/2010

Olga – A Daughter’s Tale is a story about heritage, identity, and belonging. It’s one family’s experiences of hardship, discrimination and love. Set in Jamaica and London between the years of 1900 and post war England, the reader is taken on a journey with one family through history and cultural change.

Written with diary entries and letters, "Olga – A Daughter's Tale" is based on a true story about cruelty, revenge and jealousy inflicted on an innocent young woman and about her moral courage, dignity, resilience and, in particular, love. It is the story of a remarkable woman who because of circumstances made a choice which resulted in her losing contact with her beloved family in Jamaica. That is, until nearly half a century later, when her past caught up with her

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


What an amazing story! This book starts with Lucy Sinclair, a young wife who moves from England to Jamaica with her husband. Her sisters soon follow, and younger sister Becky soon creates a bit of a scandal by marrying a black man. Becky has 11 children, and this is where Olga's story begins. Olga is a sweet girl who always wants to be good, but she is a bit naive at times. Her family goes through their own adventures and scandals. Olga goes to England and eventually becomes stranded due to World War II. In England she endures the trials and tragedy of war, along with a few personal problems that occur. Throughout it all Olga remains remarkably resilient and courageous. She is determined to do the best she can at all she does, and she manages to take care of herself even in dire circumstances.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this book is that it is a true story. The story is told through a series of letters, newspaper clippings, and diary entries. I found this to be a marvelous way to get into the different character's personalities. I enjoyed this way of telling the story. I found it to be an effective way to tell everything that happened without unnecessary amounts of long exposition. There were many topics of great interest to me. Olga's life was made much more difficult by the racism she faced in Jamaica and England. Another very interesting part to me were the descriptions of life in London during the war. You get a feel for how frightening it must have been to try and go on with your life while bombs were falling.

I enjoyed this book so much, and it really makes me want to go look into my family history. While I may not have relatives with a life as exciting as Olga's, I certainly think there are stories of interest to me. This book was very interesting and quick to read. It shows the good and bad parts of what happened to a family, and Olga persevered through it all. Olga is a remarkable woman, and I'm glad that I got to read her story.

Book provided by author for review.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the review...I have this book in my TBR stack. Will need to move it up.


stop by my blog if you like...I have a giveaway going on for NIGHT TRAIN by Clyde Edgerton. It runs until July 25. Three books will be given away.