Coming to England
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This is an autobiographical account of Benjamin's early life in Trinidad and subsequent move to England aged eight, culminating with her first few years here. The story, familiar to most families who have experienced migration, involves the upheaval that is part and parcel of that process, and the ensuing struggle to re-establish normal family life in a strange and often hostile environment. It is an inspiring, upbeat story of triumph over adversity in which traditional Caribbean values of determination and good-natured optimism (drummed into her by her parents - particularly her mother) play an important part. Incidents of discrimination, where they occur, are recounted without bitterness or resentment. This brisk, well written story should appeal to children of all backgrounds. One minor drawback in my view is that the publisher's blurb on Benjamin is too sketchy to give a real indication to the young reader not familiar with her work, of the extent of her achievements and fame from the mid seventies reaching its zenith in the 1980s. Though the book can stand on its own, I think that a full awareness of her achievements in the years beyond school days where the narrative stops, would have made the narrative all the more poignant and meaningful.