Hypercritics and hypocrites come in all colors, sizes, and generations. A reason why racial harmony is uncommon in any era…
This is the line from this book and a line which is true even in today’s life, the modern life where every human should be equal, is equal. Yet things very rarely are.
This is the story of Mispha, a Haitian-Jamaican young lady. Waiting for her friend Regina, at the airport, writes a letter to her, of their memories of the last year of high school. These two girls Mispha and Regina, the best of friends, go through a lot of hardships together.
There is racism where Mispha and Regina, are not only teased by the Caucasian kids but also by the African American kids due to darker shade of skin.
There is abuse and death of their good friend, Sally. Then comes the power play of the people to hide their abuse and using clout to deny Mispha her rights.
The author, Curtis Jackson, has done a great job in taking a major issue of racism and telling it as Mispha’s story, a world seen through her eyes. The storyline is extremely moving, and the author has covered heartbreaking topics, written simply but powerfully. The book is written in a formal old style which has a charm of its own. Every word in the book teaches us something.
Where the author, Curtis, has shown the tough life of Mispha’s life, he has also thrown in good characters, supporting her.
There is Ms. Samantha Oliver, their teacher for science and social studies, who teaches them values of equality where recognition should be given for hard work whatever be the color and status. Professor Cory Douglas who teaches evolution at the museum, supports Mispha with his words of advice and Mispha’s parents who teach the right values, along with brother William. Each character has a role to play and they support Mispha in all her struggles.
It was nice to read about a level headed, courageous, intelligent young girl, who stands her ground. At every point and every phase, whatever be the problem, Mispha deals with the strength and courage of her conviction and the knowledge imparted by her parents. Every topic covered in this book still has relevance in today’s society. And that is a truly sad thing, we haven’t moved forward. Racism still exists, sexual abuse still occurs, power plays in name of religion are still rampant. A book of 1980s is still applicable in 2017.
There are a couple of niggles which disrupted my thoughts while reading…
The book, being written in old world formal English, it takes the brain some time to get into the rhythm of it and sometimes words do not flow smoothly.
Also Mispha, as a young 16-year old, is too formal and there are no personal flaws, she seems almost too perfect. No human ever is. I wanted her to be like any other imperfect human being, with good and bad points and striving to overcome her negatives.
In saying all this, I would like to tell the author, Curtis Jackson, that Mispha’s valedictorian speech was the highlight of this book. It is an inspiration all by itself. The emotions underlying the speech and the simple eloquence of the truth in her words were absolutely magical. A 16-year old has the courage, not to choose the easier life, but to choose the path of righteousness, the path of light, and path where all humans are equal.
If a 16-year old child can do that, why can’t we???
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Born in the mid-1960’s Curtis W. Jackson spent most of his life living on Long Island. He was a home health aide, mortgage inspector before he published his first book, There were other manual labor jobs over the years. Mr. Jackson received his education in the Bay Shore school system. He regularly participates in non-profit educational work. Mr. Jackson is currently a student at Full Sail University; he resides in Suffolk County, New York.
Waiting for Regina is a heart-warming, beautiful and disconcertingly reflective book. The novel is composing from a short story written by the same author entitled, Regina, What Is the Color of It? Presenting as a long and eloquent letter from a friend, Mispha, a dark girl from a Haitian-Jamaican black family, writes to her close childhood companion. She is Regina whose “brown sugar” skin is a lighter shade. Both are in their teen years. This book is basing during the heydays of the latter 1980’s as one character states, “the age of Bill Cosby.”
Racism, bullying, interracial marriage, abuse, and loss of life are just a few of the various themes treated and touched upon in this book.
Publication date : 28th March 2017
Publisher : Self under the labels of Barnes and Noble Nook Press, CreateSpace for Amazon, Lulu.com
Language : English
Available on Amazon
Heartwarming Story – a must read