Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wishing For Wings: With this book Jacob makes hope soar for Trinidad and Tobago

If you haven't purchased this book yet, please do. Gift others with it as well. This book is so worthy of your investment. Don't borrow it. BUY IT.

This is my Amazon review for Debbie Jacob's 
WISHING FOR WINGS published by 
Ian Randle Publishers in Jamaica:

4.0 out of 5 stars I am at once Silenced, and full.,
December 1, 2013
This review is from: Wishing for Wings (Kindle Edition)
I am reluctant to write anything about Wishing,
simply because I am stunned and humbly in awe
of the work.

If I could wish something for the author and her
young charges, I would wish for this to be a
bestseller at home in the Caribbean, and
especially in Trinidad and Tobago.

On completing it, I am at once silenced
and full.

It is not without flaws.
Yet is is emotionally flawless.

(e.g. I wished the chapter "Decisions" was an
introduction that assured me before diving in.
I did worry protectively about the boys privacy
as I read. It proved distracting for me, as
I consider myself a sensitive reader. 

The relief on reading Decisions where it 
is now placed, did not feel like
a literary device that should not
be tampered with.
It would better serve as a preface.
Other than that, some minor proof reading
support, and more care around poetic 
moments with potential resonance that 
felt cut-short or 'rushed' ; 
small tweaks that could have been 
helped by a good editor/ reader 
prior to publishing.)

I am deeply grateful and respectful specifically
that Jacob addresses the use of religion as a 
way of 'white washing' in our local culture 
especially in this reform context. What a relief 
that this may be voiced  from a place of such 
authority and to witness the direct 
experience in the young men's responses once
they were granted this clearance. Surely this 
should provide evidence enough that she is 
right on target with this observation. 

In trusting the absolute benevolence of each
prisoner-student, the worthy potential of each 
failedboy-man, Jacob expresses more faith 
with "Wishing…" than any religious tome.

Kudos must go to Ian Randle as well -
this is exactly the kind of honest, practical 
and immediate response our regional 
publishers need to have when they encounter 
such a work and an opportunity as this.

Listen, this work is so insightful it is heroic.
Jacob facilitates pure genius, unearthing 
gold from within hearts and minds that 
society must by necessity, exclude for a time,
but where most would never deem to look.
That such potential would otherwise just be 
dashed, save for this kind of work, is 
profoundly worth our anger and our grief .

Jacob reveals all this without lectures, guilt-
tripping or moralising, on either side of the 
prison fence; the true purpose of literature
is fulfilled.

"Tear a page" , then turn a page.

The genius expressed by the prisoners
is at times tender, classical, even. 
It is never cushioned in the trappings
of the young men's masks i.e. 
rap culture and
bad-boy gang image.

Wishing for Wings is a phenomenal break 
through in consciousness, way beyond the mere 
technical act of "writing" - for Jacob and her 
young writers and for their readers as well.

Thank you for your brave work Debbie Jacob -
not only in documenting and publishing it,
but in the week to week journey you made 
within yourself and alongside
those so easily cast aside.

My prayers of gratitude and respect 
to the brave soldiers of YTC too.

My hope for our nation soared as I read.
Each page turn revealed a nugget, more 
and more worthy of another turn of 
the page.
I couldn't help but pause to marvel,
to allow a tear free reign for the 

This read just kept on giving and giving
and did not let up!

If I had my way, I would make it mandatory
for every adult, leader, steady-incomes,
merchant class,
professional, teacher individual who calls
 themselves "Trini",
who laments this or that here,
who shakes a cocktail
after work to pontificate with opinions of
this or that 'other'…'or them',
'over there'.

We must call on each other and make this
book a true, one-buy-one purchase, 
national/ regional best seller.

P.S. Jacob's is one qualified Trini- voice
I would like to hear
advise our nation's leaders on what can be
done to help "the youth today".

1 comment:

MaMoli said...

The title, 'Wishing For Wings', is incredibly powerful. It evokes the faces of all the 14 to 19ers I've worked with -- the ones who've learned to fly, and those who are still wishing... It says to me, You gotta read this! Debbie Jacob's book comes at a time when the findings of regional and international organizations all point to an increasing sense of hopelessness among Caribbean youth, and I really appreciate her demonstrating why no child should be left behind. I look forward to reading it!