From Harvey River
A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island
By Lorna Goodison
(Amistad, Hardcover, 9780061337550, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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"Throughout her life my mother [Doris] lived in two places at once: Kingston, Jamaica, where she raised a family of nine children, and Harvey River, in the parish of Hanover, where she was born and grew up."
In the tradition of Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family and Carlos Eire's Waiting for Snow in Havana comes Lorna Goodison's luminous memoir of her forebears—From Harvey River. When Doris' English grandfather, William Harvey, discovers a clearing at the end of a path cut by the feet of those running from slavery, he gives his name to what will become his family's home for generations. For Doris, Harvey River is the place she always called home, the place where she was one of the "fabulous Harvey girls" and where the rich local bounty of the land went hand in hand with the Victorian niceties and comforts of her parents' house. It is a place she will return to in dreams when her fortunes change, years later, and she and her husband, Marcus Goodison, relocate to "hard life" Kingston and encounter the harsh realities of urban living in close quarters as they raise their family of nine children.
In lush prose, Lorna Goodison weaves memory and island lore to create a vivid, universally appealing tapestry.
“Being introduced to the cast of ‘From Harvey River’ is like sitting down at the family dining table. You’ll stay for the day then on into the evening as each new character pulls up a chair. You could not be in better company.”
-New York Times Book Review
“Goodison’s memoir reaches back over generations to evoke the mythic power of childhood, the magnetic tug of home, and the friction between desire and duty that gives life its unexpected jolts.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] loving memoir.”
-New York Times Book Review Paperback Row