Daylight Come- Sometimes the Light Comes at the End.
'Truth be told, he always knew he was dying in some way, not so much from the forgetting as the remembering'.
Grant is painting a picture of an island, people, places, experiences that are so familiar and are still very much a part of our country's societal structure today. The bus ride, driver and conductor's antics (if you travel pon country bus or town coaster, you know), scenery, interactions, and changing facades of 'Town' then versus now, instantly made a feeling of familiarity bloom within me.
Nothing beats the feeling of being steeped in a book set in your home, your island, a book you weren't sure you would like, because of the time period and the subject being portrayed, but that grew on you; though sometimes the prose was a bit dense. This did not hinder my enjoyment of the characters, the story, and the time.
Set against the backdrop of a changing Jamaica amidst WWII, Grant uses Pico's memory to bring this vista to life: racial standing and class, discrimination, social hierarchy, plantocracy, colonialism, and civil awakening and unrest.
Pico at the age of nineteen is more interested in action and girls than he is in the shifting tides and times in his island. There is a movement happening where the populace is being made aware of their ability for self-governance and independence and it is through a relationship that Pico will begin to truly understand the importance of these ideals.
There are no ravages bodies or stark, burned battle fields, yet Jamaica at this time was a hub of activity with regards to the war; untouched by the violence and devastation on this side, while recruiting men and women to serve in the queen's army.
For Pico though, everything changes after that faithful mission that turned the outcome in favour of the Allies. What he saw and what he endured; all with no outlet, led him to the bottle and fed a resentment which caused the deterioration of his relationships, mind, and behaviour. But when you have that one faithful friend, you can be pulled back from the brink of total destruction.
There were times while reading when the errors and dense prose would have benefited greatly from some more editing, but honestly, Pico and company are so interesting that it was quite easy to keep reading. I would recommend this book for the story that it builds of a Jamaica at a time of approaching change and hard-won independence and self-governance.