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Memoirs of a Brown-Skin Gyal: A Collection of Short Stories    by Sandra Crough order for
Memoirs of a Brown-Skin Gyal
by Sandra Crough
Order:  USA  Can
PublishAmerica, 2002 (2002)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Sandra Crough brings British Honduras, now Belize, to life through her memories of growing up there as a child, a child who lived with her grandmother because neither her mother nor father wanted her. This memoir consists of intriguing short stories, highlighting various parts of Crough's life. Growing Pains reflects a child's anguish at not having a mother who wanted her. She was fortunate to have a grandmother and aunt who loved her, but the author's confusion and pain at her parents' rejection is evident.

Memoirs of a Brown-Skin Gyal is not maudlin, but simply documents events and crossroads in a child's life as she saw them at the time and as she remembers them now. It is written simply, as a child might recount her life, but also with insight that surpasses a child's viewpoint. The background of British Honduras is fascinating. Having a grandchild from El Salvador, I was able to relate to the short stories (note that the entire book is quite short at only ninety-one pages.)

I think the point of the memoir was to prove to the world and herself that the author could be anything she wanted to be if she was willing to work hard and apply herself. Doesn't that apply to us all?

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