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Patsy

A Novel
Narrated by: Sharon Gordon
Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, whose letters arrive from New York steeped in the promise of a happier life and the possible rekindling of their young love. But Patsy's plans don't include her overzealous, evangelical mother - or even her five-year-old daughter, Tru.

Beating with the pulse of a long-withheld confession, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to choose herself first - not to give a better life to her family back home. Patsy leaves Tru behind in a defiant act of self-preservation, hoping for a new start. But when Patsy arrives in Brooklyn, America is not as Cicely's treasured letters described; to survive as an undocumented immigrant, she is forced to work as a bathroom attendant and nanny. Meanwhile, Tru builds a faltering relationship with her father back in Jamaica, grappling with her own questions of identity and sexuality.

Expertly evoking the jittery streets of New York and the languid rhythms of Jamaica, Patsy weaves between the lives of Patsy and Tru in vignettes spanning more than a decade as mother and daughter ultimately find a way back to one another.

©2019 Nicole Dennis-Benn (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"It's tough to imagine anyone other than Sharon Gordon narrating this culture-rich novel about a Jamaican immigrant living in New York City. Gordon's portrayal of a variety of Jamaican voices - from softly melodic Jamaican-American dialect to hearty Kingston street patois - keeps this performance soaring despite the hardships of the characters." (AudioFile Magazine)

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  • CT Bravo
  • Bloomfield, CT United States
  • 08-08-19

Love and time runs a long race...

This is a beautifully written novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn and narrated into life like a Reggae beat by the talented Sharon Gordon. You will be intrigued by relationships between Patsy, her mother, step-father, daughter Tru, her lovers and friends that are as complex as the explosion of fruit flavors folded into the traditional rum and wine-soaked Jamaican wedding cake.

Patsy’s well-planned escape from a life of altered dreams in Jamaica to the promise land of America is as fulfilling as fools’ gold unlike this novel. Patsy’s sacrifices, love delayed, unrecovered time, and aspirations worn down like the hibiscus’ shedding petals crushed underfoot like her ambition will capture your imagination as you root for some measure of happiness for her.

Writer, Ms. Dennis-Benn captures the rhythm of Jamaican life and a slice of its culture for this struggling young mother and shines a bright light on the common sacrifices of immigrants irregardless of class, faith, ambition and place of birth. This story will carry you along a Caribbean wave of emotions from sadness, frustration to sheer joy as Ms. Gordon’s narration weaves you through decades of lyrical and sometimes dark passages of Patsy and Tru’s lives that exhilarates and then leaves you wanting more. Bravissimo!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Denise
  • Decatur, GA USA
  • 08-15-19

Interesting and realistic immigration story.

First, listen at 1.25 speed, but still the narration is a bit halting.
Good character development and a tale common to many who care for NYC children. The ending is a bit abrupt and all tied up in a bow.

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Terrific “listen”

A rich story and great performance.
What an enjoyable book with great characters and easy to listen to.

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Amazingly written

Topics like Queerness, being undocumented in America, colorism and love had me at a loss for words for the entirety of the listen. Wow, AMAZING! I ended up buying a physical copy of the book after listening to it on Audible.

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Started Strong but ended up being just ok

I found it very hard to sympathize with Patsy or her daughter Tru. They both seemed to just take from everyone else and judge/punish them for not following the made up image they had in their head. Patsy in particular was very selfish throughout the book and I honestly did not like her at all. The narrator struggled with the book and many times I felt like she was reading it for the first time because of the way she was stopping and starting, stumbling over words.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A true Jamaican tale

Loved it! The story lines, the characters, the joy and triumphs... can't wait until the next one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well Done!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Great job overall by reader and author. Great follow up to her first book, Here Comes the Sun.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful