Sandra A. Ottey
$20.95 Paperback / 396 Pages
Writer’s Showcase / 2001
Fiction / African-American Fiction
Sandra Ottey’s novel about the variously interconnected lives of three women presents a realistic panorama of traumatic domestic relationships. Love and doubt, abuse and dependency, rebellion and deliverance, create a mosaic of realistic situations where true love and true strength ultimately manifest themselves in a dramatic, soap-opera-like plot that bridges Jamaica and New York City.
Rose Thorn’s story, though quite different from those of the other three women, may be seen as paradigmatic: A high school dropout trapped in an abusive marriage, fights for her right to decide her own future. Being in a position of weakness and dependency vis-à-vis her exploitative husband Donovan, she is callously abused by him, cheated, humiliated, and even raped. However, at some critical point in the continuum of abuse, and out of apparently nowhere "a sea of strength pours over her," and she rises to claim her humanity stolen by her brutally oppressive husband. Her explosive anger toward him turns dangerous as her resistance becomes physical after an intolerable instance of abuse and humiliation, perhaps the last straw for her. "With a combination of all her determination and strength she distances herself from him. On their dresser they kept an eleven-by-fourteen-inch photo of themselves on their wedding day. With fire in her soul and rage in her heart she reached for it and whirled it directly at him. But he saw it coming and quickly ducked out of harm’s way. Damn, it missed. The heavy brass picture frame bounced off the wall and the glass broke into little pieces as it hit the floor."
But Rose’s rebellion is not exhausted in a merely instinctive physical response. Rose makes full use of the subtle reasoning gifts of her feminine ingenuity and the support of her women friends manages to both liberate herself and teach Donovan an unforgettable lesson.
Wendy Arnold, a well-respected Brooklyn-based College Professor crumbles under the stress and strains of her long-distance relationship with her Jamaica-based high school sweetheart, Miles. The difficulties they must overcome are many. There are times when it seems impossible that they will end up together. The distance, work commitments, difficulties in dealing with escalating phone bills and plane fares, indecisiveness about uprooting, and the possibility of falling in love with someone else, all contribute to making their ardently wished-for union seem unattainable.
Laverne, a gifted cosmetologist, struggles with her doubts regarding her lover’s identity, as she unearths the complex background of his Brooklyn-based family. The situation is dramatically and unexpectedly resolved giving the reader a profound glimpse at the complex character of human relationships.
The Jamerican connections of these three women spin into an engrossing web. A dynamic network in which false pretenses, suspense, domestic abuse, infidelity and deceit construct a multidimensional novel that keeps the reader captivated to the end.
Sandra A. Ottey was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but has lived most of her adult life in the US.
She earned a B.S. degree in Business from Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and a M.S. degree in Management from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.
"JAMERICAN CONNECTION," presently published by iUniverse.com, is Miss Ottey's debut novel. She wrote this three-plot story as an inspiration to high school and college dropouts to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go on to achieve their deferred educational goals and stunted career ambitions, despite life's many obstacles because dropping out of school is a "mistake," but definitely not a "dead-end."
The author currently lives in New York, and is also working on her second novel. Her hobbies are traveling and listening to all types of music.
She has one adult daughter, Sara, who presently lives in London.