This is a story of the Tomlinson family’s journey in Kingston, Jamaica, between the 1950s and 1970s. The Tomlinson family’s dream becomes reality when they move from the inner city to a middle-class neighbourhood in East Kingston. But their dream-life is short lived. Arthur, the patriarch and an alcoholic, in a drunken fury one night, orders his wife Rose to “Leave mi house, now!” Rose, a work-from-home dressmaker, leaves everything behind, and with her four children (Marcy still a toddler), flee to her mother, Mari, ‘Granny’. The six of them shares Granny’s one-room quarters for months.
Rose finds work, and they move from one tenement yard to another, settling on a rented house for all of them. By this time, Arthur’s life spirals as he becomes more dependent on white rum. He loses his job as a fireman, then the family home, and takes refuge in a room upstairs his favourite bar. Rose continues to seek a better life. On an invitation letter, she goes to Toronto, Canada. She remains there after attaining work as a live-in domestic, leaving the children with their grandmother. Granny’s love, however, is not enough to restrain the teenagers. Marcy, the youngest, has a boyfriend who is taking her down a path of drugs and staying out late. Five years after Rose leaves Jamaica, she gains her Canadian citizenship. Will Rose ever return to save her children from a life of waywardness? Or is the Tomlinson family destined to a doomed life?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Thompson is a Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto. She works primarily with marginalized and under-served populations. While social work defines her profession, writing is her passion.
Along with her debut novel, ‘A Way to Escape’, she has written two short stories, ‘Honey’ and ‘Two Boys and a Dog’.
Michelle was born in Jamaica and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.