Friday, April 10, 2015

Bocas Lit Fest: Children of Paradise by Fred D'Aguiar

Two books down, three more to go before The Bocas Lit Fest.....

I absolutely love authors who takes a time period or an incident and tells fictional stories that can help the reader to better understand the time period or the incident.

For instance, Lawrence Hill, with The Book of Negroes, did an excellent job of helping me to better understand and visualize what may have happened during the time in history when humans were made into slaves. He gave those precious people names and identities, and that is exactly what Fred does with The Children of Paradise; he gives the people, who were involved in the Jonestown tragedy, names and identities and helped me to better understand why people would fanatically follow, Jim Jones, and take their own lives.

In the early 70s, Jim Jones, a religious leader, established a church called The People's Temple. He convinced over 900 people to move to Guyana and eventually convinced them to take their own lives by drinking poison. Read a Jamestown survivor's story here.

This happened in 1978, and I was only eight years old, and for some reason, I can vividly remember this incident.

With Children of Paradise, Fred takes us to Jonestown, and we are able to see how Jim Jones may have use beatings, torture, mind games, scare tactics, in order to convince people to be loyal to him and eventually take their own lives.

The main characters, Joyce and her children Trinia, Ryan, and Rose, are basically held captive by Jim Jones and were afraid to even think about leaving. Reading this story, I could feel their distress once they came to the realization that needed to get out, but there just seem to be no way out. I bonded with these characters and wanted them to get out, but I already knew how their story would end.

The story of Jonestown is one of many stories that need to be told over and over again. The people who died need to be given names and identities so that people will remember them as humans who were blindly taking a chance to live in a utopian society.

When I see Fred at The Bocas Lit Fest, I am going to thank him for honoring the people of the Jonestown tragedy by telling their stories.....

Read this incredible story and learn!

Guess what came in the mail?

So, I'll be reading Moving Forward Sideways Like A Crab next!

Only a few more weeks before the Lit Fest..... EXCITED!


ArchivedProfile said...

I'm going to add this one to my to-read list. And you, miss speed reader, are going to get through all of your Bocas Lit Fest picks. I'm still trying to get through The Salt Roads! It's a pretty long book though and I've already flipped through the others and don't expect them to take long.

Jacqueline said...

Yea, this was a good one for sure...and, I will finish all of Bocas Lit Fest books before we leave. Can't wait to meet these authors. Happy Reading, My Friend!!

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