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Rachel Manley
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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Rachel Manley, granddaughter and daughter of two of Jamaica's national leaders, tells the story of the brilliant, artistic Manleys - Jamaica's most prominent and glamorous political family - and the house that nurtured them: Drumblair. This is a world vividly recreated, and an intimate memoir of the people who changed Jamaica's intellectual, social and cultural landscape f ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published September 24th 1996 by Knopf Canada
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3.98  · 
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 ·  56 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Manley weaves the threads of the Manley family and the rise of Jamaica to independence into a beautiful tapestry that tells the story of a people striving to change their status from British colony to a thriving country. Her story is richly told, in places lyrical as she describes the countryside, its inhabitants and her family. The Manleys believed in education. They moved to England to attend university. They returned to serve their country, making their Drumblair house the centre of bo ...more
Tina Taylor
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delving back into a Jamaica in the 60s, Rachel Manley shows the essence of what a simpler life could be... in all sense of being the daughter of one of the most influential and famous persons in Jamaica at the time.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this wonderful memoir, Rachel Manley tells the intimate story of her grandfather, Norman Manley, who led Jamaica to independence, and her father Michael Manley, who became Prime Minister of the country. Books about politics and political leaders can often be somewhat dry, but this one reads almost like a novel. The omniscient narrator allows herself to go into the thoughts and emotions of her characters much as a fiction writer would do, with the result that the reader becomes very much invol ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Kingston, Jamaica, 1972-74, I would sometimes hear Jamaicans speak of "Drumblair" with extreme reverence. I understood that it was the Manley family residence but not much more than that. The then recently elected Prime Minister was a young charismatic Michael Manley. In our apolitical training for Peace Corps it was mentioned that Mr. Manley's father, Norman Washington Manley had been Premier of Jamaica and "had been involved with Jamaican independence".
I p
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Rachel Manley was born in England to a European mother and a Jamaican father. When she was two and a half years old, her mother was ill, so she was sent to Jamaica to live with grandparents she had never met. In Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood ( published by Key Porter Books) she tells the story of her life with her grandparents.

"There was nothing spectacular about the old wooden two-storey house set far back from the road. It was not even in a fashionable area, but rather poised pr
Crystal Loke
Our yearly trip to the island never fails to bring the joy of meeting new people. How fortunate was I to have met and discovered the wonderful woman, Rachel Manley. Speaking with Rachel I was introduced to her writing. Immediately purchased this first book of three - Drumblair.
It is a story of a young girl growing up in Jamaica during a time of change and transformation.
With a skilled use of words and imagery I felt that I could see this world through her eyes. It was at times like she was in f
This almost got 4 stars. I was loving it for awhile, but for some reason I gradually lost interest as the story went on. Knowing nothing about Jamaican history, I learned a lot, and it was a really great look at a public political family. I'm not sure what changed that made me lose interest, except perhaps that by the end of the book Manley stopped talking so much about the political and social goings-on and focused more on the individuals.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book, to me, had a few errors that I thought should have been caught by an editor. But, I really enjoyed the personal viewpoint of a local national hero. The language used was beautiful and familiar, and the descriptions were clear. I ran through this book in a matter of days, devouring it greedily.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in jamaican politics
Recommended to Lesliemae by: GE Clarke
A memoir of Rachel Manley growing up with her grandfather and father and the political changes they made in Jamaica. More of a review to come.
Rob & Liz
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who was in the Caribbean in the 50's and 60's this book provides many wonderful stories about the Leaders at that time as well as the Manley family in particular.

Sean Michael
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Sheryl Byfield
This first hand account of the architect of Jamaican independence was beautiful and heart breaking.
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Rachel Manley is the author of the memoir Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood, which won the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction in 1997, and Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers. She has also published three books of poetry and edited Edna Manley: The Diaries, a collection of her grandmother’s journals. Manley is a New York Public Library Fellow, a Pierre Berton Fellow, a Rockefeller Fel ...more