Saturday 27th September, 2008

 

My Mother’s Son creates high expectations

 
 
 
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Suzanne Bhagan

After reading the introduction of My Mother’s Son, you wonder whether this writer is just all bravado or really talented. Bajan author Jeremy Davis, a student at the University of the Southern Caribbean, creates high expectations, deeming his work “the most urban satire ever written” and “telling a story seldom heard.” My Mother’s Son is this English major’s first novel and Davis intends to publish five by age 25.

You can probably finish this short story during rush hour on the Port-of-Spain to San Fernando route. The plot races, with outlandish events occurring in a matter of days.

His story is simple but with a message —don’t sell out to society or you lose the things you hold dear. It’s the story of the ordinary university student, Sky, whose life is turned upside down by the opposite sex and a secret society, Alpha Theta Gamma (ATG). Unfortunately, Sky can only choose one. The plot starts slowly but takes a crazy turn in chapter five. The novel ends with a bang. Literally. Sky realises that he is no longer his mother’s son, having abandoned the values she taught him.

Although a work of fiction, sometimes, the novel reads like the realisation of the fantasies shared by many a twenty-something-year-old male. The only character we really get to know is Sky, through his extensive inner monologues.

All other protagonists remain cardboard stiff, even his love interest, Star Davis’ conversational writing style is effective in advancing the plot. Apart from the overriding theme of conflict between the individual and society, Davis wrestles with universal issues like understanding women and the psyche of the Caribbean man.

The local reader may start hearing Sky declarations about some Trini boys at the bus stop, “They don’t look like they were going anywhere but then again no one in Trinidad ever does. Everyone always seems to look so stagnant and inactive. Or as they call it: Everyone is liming.” The text, although dominated by local patois and urban speech, could benefit from editing. Overall, the book was as gripping as a James Bond film—a typical thriller plot based on home turf. The text is riddled with contemporary urban cultural references like Kanye’s lyrics and local landmarks like Bootleggers at Trincity Mall.

If Davis really wants to win that Pulitzer or Nobel by age 29, then he must plod on! Good effort though, for a first novel.

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