A Powerful Read
A Foot In Both Camps by Arrabella Williams is a heart-wrenching YA novel suitable for ages ten years and over.
The novel follows Susie, a young girl with Jamaican heritage but born in Britain. Her parents were part of the Windrush generation. We see her struggles as she has a foot in both camps – her father clings to his Jamaican roots whereas her mother tries to assimilate the family into the local community – first in Northampton and then in Birmingham.
Susie’s household is ruled by her father who is a cruel man, beating his children and his wife as he believes it is the Jamaican way. My heart went out to Susie. She is a little girl with a big personality who deserves to be loved.
I had much empathy for Susie and found her easy to identify with – I also grew up in Birmingham, learn to read with the Ladybird scheme of Peter and Jane, and watched Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds. I was also in a class of 40 with wooden desks and inkwells. For me, A Foot In Both Camps was very much a walk down memory lane.
I enjoyed the book but it was heartbreaking at times. It is a book that everyone should read in order to see just how hard it was for some to assimilate into Britain in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sometimes it was prejudice and sometimes it was clinging to culture.
A Foot In Both Camps was an incredibly powerful read.
I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable reviews was not required. All opinions are my own.