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.