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Somerset Grove by Dionne Peart (Buy it!)

Posted on 21 January 2013 by admin

Somerset_GroveAfter 3 days of reading, I have just finished one of the most memorable books I’ve read in a looong time! My good friend and Jamaican sister, Dionne Hayes, wrote and self-published her book “Somerset Grove”.  I started reading it using the Kindle App on my phone because I couldn’t wait for the book that I ordered to come. That tiny phone screen was my friend for the 3 days it took me to read the book.  Inspired, I wrote a review (my very first ever I might add) on (  Here it is:

As I read Somerset Grove – a book that kept me engrossed for a solid 3 days – I was reminded of Tolstoy’s famous opening line; “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. In this book I met a family riddled with all sorts of unhappiness and unrealized dreams. But, to me, this book is ultimately about forgiving, redemption and, above all, the conquering nature of the love that binds a family together. As I turned each page I felt like I knew Ruby, Angelique, and Carmen (the main characters); I might have been a nosey neighbor eavesdropping and peeking around corners to gather the pieces of their story as it happened.

And on a deeper level, this book explores a multitude of women’s issues through the lives of these 3 women – women’s health issues, educational gaps, economic disparities, immigration and its effect on families, to name a few. Ms. Peart manages to uncover these issues in her book in a tender, non-judgmental, and transparent way, leaving it to the reader to pick a side…or not.

Somerset Grove is like many of the wonderful Jamaican dishes the author describes so aptly in her book. It is absolutely succulent, very spicy, perfectly sweet, and like all good meals, transports you to a place and time when you felt welcome to truly enjoy a good thing.

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