Verna Penn Moll. Essex, England: Mount Sage Press, 1990.
Johnny-Cake Country, a first novel, is where the Caribbean beats out a rhythm for its songs….and where inevitable progress more often than not is accompanied by corrosive influences. Therefore, each character, consciously or not, does his/her bit to preserve what is left of the culture. Mr. Lettsome looks after his own folk by driving them up and down the Island, and at the same time sharing the Country’s history with visitors. Miss Probsey is the embodiment of all the maternal qualities of the community: strength, endurance, intuition, vision. She preserves the old customs of the land, even the secret of the name Johnny-cake. Naldo works day and night to raise money for his first year of college.
Underlying this simple tale in Johnny-Cake Country, there is serious social commentary on how a developing community views its origins, its own way of life and its future.
The author, a former teacher and Chief Librarian in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs), has contributed valuable work in encouraging creative writing and producing books and reprints. She was awarded the MBE in 1985 for her services to Librarianship and Education in the BVI.
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