Like falling headfirst into someone else’s memory, Gopo’s writing is beautiful and picturesque, not only in the scenery but also the feelings in each story. Each moment welcomed me in with a warm invitation to see the world through the author’s eyes with her particular story shading your understanding of the story.
In All the Colors We Will See, Patrice Gopo writes of being born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, growing up as a Jamaican while finding her own path, and then beginning her own family. Not told in a linear manner, this series of vignettes, stories and reflections invites us to see the fullness of what it means to be in the author’s world.
Gopo tells her story without skirting difficult topics like racism or glossing over the nuance of what it means to be her with a culturally specific identity in this world. The book was an inviting and informative combination of personal history, personal stories and reflections with a bit of world history and U.S history included for a fuller understanding of the nature of different events and stories.
This feels especially important in now when events caused by racism (and systemic structures of white privilege) are often (and distressingly, sometimes not) in the news. Gopo tells each story with warmth, beauty, and awareness of the perplexing complexity of blending cultural, racial, historical, and family stories.
I enjoyed this book so thoroughly simply for the joy of reading it. It was a pleasure; it was enlightening; and it was beautiful.
Oh to write like that.
“My family’s presence in Alaska was a mixture of flavors too. Jamaican roots and an American life. While my parents adapted to mountain hikes in the frosty air and summer spent fishing for salmon, our home often featured the customs and foods from the early years of their lives – the years when they first met each other in the breezy, salt-scented air of their island home. As we lived the multifaceted existence of Jamaican American, we were tamarind balls – not fully one flavor, not fully another, but two distinct parts of coexisting in my family’s unique form.”All the Colors We Will See by Patrice Gopo – Page 5
PS– I could not choose what quote to share her to properly show how lovely this book was. I don’t think I could properly do it justice by pulling a sentence or paragraph out for scrutiny. I guess you’ll just have to read it. :)
(I received a free copy of this book from BookLookBloggers. All opinions are my own.)