In this novel inspired by his own experiences in Jamaica and England, first-time author Brown weaves a story of brotherhood, friendship and ambition gone awry.
At the dawn of the new millennium, brothers Junior and Menny and their friend Moses are smoking marijuana and reading their favorite biblical psalms under an apple tree in St. Mary, Jamaica. They live hand-to-mouth lives, but the young men are dreamers; they all have hopes as high as the sky and a tremendous amount of ambition. The idea of moving to England is never far from their minds. Of the two brothers, Junior’s dreams revolve more around making money and having a big, beautiful house, while Menny, a talented singer, wants to use his gift to spread word of the Rastafarian movement and help continue the black struggle, in the tradition of Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King Jr. Eventually, the young men make their way to England, but their ambitions lead them down a dark path of crime, as they fall in with Kingston-born gangsters Reload and Serius, whose goal is to make money by any means necessary. The best part of Brown’s book is the dialogue, which is fortunate, since there’s a lot of it. He clearly has an ear for speech, and he adeptly captures voices for Jamaicans and Englishmen alike. Especially enjoyable are the phone conversations laid out on the page like a script without stage directions. The book becomes as much about personalities and voices as the fading dreams, and it’s all a pleasure to read.
A memorable novel with an authentic voice.