Oh Gad - Book Review

JOANNE HILLHOUSE'S latest book Oh GadAntigua St John's - OK! Fine! I confess! When the shipment of Oh Gad! books came I snuck one of them out of the box.

There! I’ve admitted it! You see, the publishers said that I couldn’t SELL any of the books until April 17th … but there was nothing in the contact that said that I couldn’t read one … I might of course need a good lawyer after penning and publishing this confession … but I have to tell you that it was worth any of the dissonance which it may have caused.

I’d like to share my thoughts on this book but I seek your permission to allow me to start with how I felt as I turned the last few pages.

I started experience a certain amount of dread … dread, caused by the fact that I was being forced to say goodbye to these characters / these people who had over a period of days taken up what felt like residence in my consciousness … and I had willingly let them … welcomed them even – gotten used to having them around … enjoyed their company … and as the pages turned I recognized that they were going away.

It may sound a bit dramatic but I believe that seasoned readers may be able to relate to the feeling of loss that occasionally accompanies the completion of a good book.

I think I first experienced it when I read To Kill A Mockingbird at around 15. I distinctly remember the feeling again when reading Tandia & The Power of One by an Australian writer, Bryce Courtenay in the mid 1990s.

(Yes there was a book called The Power of One back in 95) I’m sure there have been others over the years, but this is what I experienced with Oh Gad! by Joanne Hillhouse.

Perhaps that feeling of connection takes place more easily when we can relate to the characters and in this case, for those of us who know Antigua intimately, to the setting.

We can relate more easily because it’s set in the neighbourhoods that we frequent or passed through or where our part time “smaddy” used to hang out.

Perhaps it’s the language, the flow of words that we can easily relate to but which non Antiguans will not in any way be challenged to read. Perhaps it’s the issues that surface, some that we know exist but prefer not to acknowledge.

Issue between parents and the adults who evolve 18, 21, 25 years later in spite of lack of or might I say nontraditional parenting.

It may even be because we can relate to the on-the-sly steamy relationship that takes the story in a whole new direction, for a while.

For you however the images that you walk away with after reading the book might be quite different and if that’s true I’d love to read your review in days or weeks to come.

The one thing that I can say for sure is that it held my attention and forced me to stay awake until after 2:30 one morning, for one reason and one reason only – it was a great read. A really well written book.

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3 Comments In This Article   


Enjoyed this book very much!

#3 Wanderluster » 2012-07-24 22:53

I really enjoyed this book, and was sad when it ended...I became really connected to many of the characters and the family as a whole. As an American who lived for 5 years in Antigua, I related to a whole lot of it - even though I'm not of Antiguan ancestry - and I really enjoyed the dialect and nuances of Antiguan culture that came out. I related a lot to Nikki - trying to let go of the "big picture" and just be in the here and now, something I've been grappling with a lot lately. Her character was pitted both against and alongside some other strong female characters that really drew out some of they key questions related to her "journey". Happiness is in the moment, not in the ideal. Great story, great characters. Congrats to a talented author.


Thought I was alone

#2 Look Ya » 2012-04-23 00:53

FNPSR......thought I was alone....i read this in the papers and was totally lost....no where is the name of the author mentioned.

Look Ya

RE: Oh Gad - Book Review

#1 fnpsr » 2012-04-22 23:38

I am still waiting for the review of the book!

"Let's fix the little things before we attempt to fix the big things."


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