..it's not want of tongue that cows don't talk - Granny Ivy.
In Edgell's Beka Lamb, we are introduced to Beka, a precocious, mendacious teen who is struggling with her studies, and having recently lost her best friend, begins a journey down memory lane where the landscape of her friendship and her Belize unfolds. Reading this book led me to do some reading about Belize and I uncovered an intriguing connection to Jamaica, through our shared colonizer, Britain, and colonial past.
The history of the island is revealed in Beka's memories and the societal make-up, racial diversity, and stratification is also touched on. Beka is also influenced in her coming of age at a time in Belize's history where political independence is desired, by both her grandmother and father's passionate but opposite approach to how independence should be attained.
Beka slowly comes into her own strength and opinions as tension rises between the Governor and the People's Independence Party, as a hurricane heads towards Belize, and her grandmother struggles to understand the change that has taken root in Beka. Familiar social and political themes and familial interactions revealed a Belize that though culturally diverse from Jamaica, was very similar in many aspects.
But at its heart, Beka Lamb is a story of family, friendship, and country. How intertwined they are, how each plays into defining the other, and the importance of accepting and listening to oneself.