by Ezekel Alan
Poverty and desperation describe the start of life for Kenneth E.S. Lovelace, or Kenny. Born into a squatters village called a “Depression” in 1970’s Jamaica, he struggles with all the dangers and trials of poverty. He and his kind, living in one-room self-built houses on someone else’s land, are “Disposable People.” Kenny shows us his world through a collection of diary entries written to Semicolon, his true love. Peppered with bits of his writing collection, poetry, and reminiscence over time we gradually hear his tale. This novel takes a train-of-thought approach to Kenny’s experiences. A progression of understanding, rather than a chronology, takes the reader scene by scene through his childhood and out of the “Depression”, or “That hateful f***ing place”, and into his life as a successful author, far from the squalor of his childhood.
Ezekel Alan’s book wowed me on so many levels. Kenny is thoughtful and honest, confessing all his sins to Semicolon. Ezekel displays gorgeous poetry, joy, beauty, culture, ideals, horror, sin, murder, fear, suspicion and faith, all surging through his tale. The graphic nature of many of Kenny’s experiences are often witnessed while Kenny and his cousins eavesdropped without shame “because we all knew that everything we did was being quietly observed by the cold unblinking eyes of Eternity.” It’s all part of the honesty and depth of every bit of the book. Kenny bared his soul to Semicolon, telling her what he experienced and valued, but also what he felt, learned, and how he failed. Scandalous or horrific scenes are highlighted with a knowing, dark humor, but contain profound lessons learned.
There seemed to be a kind of love/hate relationship between Kenny and his old home. Though he describes it with stark and unforgiving frankness, he does so with an underlying pride and affection.
Even the source of the book is mysterious and poetic, “A Novel Inspired by True Events”. Somehow I heard the voice of my own grandmother, transported across time, culture, race, and nationality. I guess some opinions appear everywhere: “If he had gone to church, none of this would have ever happened to him.”
Buy it on Amazon!
To learn more about the author go to http://ezekelalan.com/