It won’t be long now until my new book, A Lifetime, is released. In the meantime, here is an extract from the opening chapter:
I was born in a bure, a small hut crafted from wood and straw that sat in a a cluster of others, looking like some Neolithic, sun-drenched piece of paradise. Despite appearances; it was far from paradise.
The huts were in a sugarcane plantation that worked the residents, my parents included, to the bone. They worked tirelessly for very little money. It was barely enough to keep themselves clothed and fed, let alone their families. My father was working on the day I was born, the day that an untrained midwife — a woman plucked from the sugarcane field to assist my screaming, agonized mother — dragged me from the comfort of my mother’s womb.
I came into the world kicking, screaming and suffering under the incompetence of others and I spent my childhood in much the same way. From a very early age I worked as hard as my parents did. I had no comforts, few friends, no time to play, nothing to play with and not much of a life to live. My parents loved me, they gave me all I could have hoped for, but they couldn’t do anything to make my life easier, to give me the life that a child deserves.
I strived to work hard and to make my own way in the world. When I was old enough, after many difficult years on the plantation, I stowed away on a container ship and left the country of my birth. I didn’t know where I was going, didn’t really know anything of the world beyond my small island home, but I was determined to make it wherever the ship took me.