"a caribbean tale" by Rudy Gurley: Book Review

a caribbean tale

by Rudy Gurley

Palimpsest Book Production Limited (2006)

ISBN 1427605351

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (9/06)

I felt privileged to read “A Caribbean Tale.” This is the first part of a true story about the life of Rudy Gurley, who had to overcome tremendous obstacles to become successful. As he shares his personal story, he teaches about the value of overcoming adversity and hardship. In addition to working hard for a successful future, Rudy learns a lot about his past, family, and culture from him.

Rudy’s mom got pregnant when she was very young. She had two children with her father. Her father left the Caribbean island where he grew up to try to improve his life and that of his family. Things didn’t go as originally planned and her father ended up starting another family. Rudy’s mother couldn’t afford to raise him and his sister, Roslyn, so they were raised by his aunt Sheila. As children, they had expectations of reuniting with their parents. As time went by, they were disappointed to discover that this was not going to happen. He did not see his mother again until he was twenty-one.

Rudy moved to England to get an education. He endured tremendous difficulties on this path. He went through some major financial crises that had him hungry and living in really bad places. Rudy continued to push himself and overcame these obstacles. Through his hard work and determination, he achieved his professional goals. During this time he also married Susanna, a woman he had sworn to marry when he was young.

Over time, Rudy was able to reconnect with his father and meet his grandmother and half-siblings. Instead of focusing on the possible bitterness of being abandoned by him, Rudy put these issues aside and was able to enjoy meeting his father and learning more about who he is. It was really admirable that Rudy focused on building a good relationship with his father now, instead of the rejection he had felt in the past.

In addition to learning about the Gurley family, Rudy also teaches us a lot about the culture of people with African roots. I was shocked to learn about the prejudices that exist within black culture. I also learned a lot about the history of slavery outside of the United States. I learned more about the racial issues that are still going on in the United States today, as well as those that are still going on around the world.

“A Caribbean Tale” is an excellent book. As Rudy Gurley’s story progresses, you become immersed in it. I also looked at the obstacles he was able to overcome and found myself thinking that if I keep working through my own difficulties, I can get ahead too. He really did succeed, and he managed to live his life with integrity. He didn’t stop to blame other people for his difficulties, he just kept striving to achieve his goals.

This story would be an excellent book to read in cultural studies classes.

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