A Good Home: A Memoir by Cynthia ReyesA Good Home: A Memoir by Cynthia Reyes

A Good Home: A Memoir

byCynthia Reyes

Paperback | May 6, 2013

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A Good Home is an addictive read. It is a profoundly emotional book about the author's early life in rural Jamaica, her move to urban North America, and her trips back home. And it's all told through entertaining descriptions of the houses she has lived in - from a tiny pink house in Jamaica and a log cabin on a mountainside near Vancouver to the historic Victorian-Georgian farmhouse she lives in today, surrounded by neighbours from around the world who love to share spicy Malaysian fare, Greek pastries and roast lamb, and homemade tomato sauce and wine (really strong wine). <_o3a_p>


Full of lovingly drawn characters and vividly described places, A Good Home takes the reader through deeply moving stories of marriage, children, the death of parents, and an accident that takes its high-flying author down a humbling notch. Its pages sparkle with stories and reflections on how a home can be the foundation on which to build connections with children, relatives, and friends; a place to celebrate the joys of elegant design, overflowing gardens, and the sharing of good food; a wise teacher, showing us who we really were - and who we really are.<_o3a_p>


CYNTHIA REYES has published non-fiction stories in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. Her stories are regularly featured in Arabella Magazine. Reyes is a former journalist and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. More than a hundred episodes of her programs have appeared on network televis...
Title:A Good Home: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:324 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 6, 2013Publisher:BPS BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927483484

ISBN - 13:9781927483480

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will touch your heart I love love love this book. It works on many levels, I think. It is a nostalgic reminder for us Jamaicans who grew up in a simpler, safer Jamaica when you may not have even had electricity or an indoor bathroom yet you were so happy, climbing trees and running wild. It reminds of the fruits, birds, flowers, decent neighbours, older people’s faith and quaint customs, interlaced with Jamaican proverbs and wisdom (If you can’t hear, you must feel). Like all small islanders, the author wants to go off to see the world and get to college, confident in her good basic education. The economic necessity that made the waves of Jamaicans (and West Indians) go off to Britain in the ‘50’s, and the USA and Canada later, and the impact on the family of an absentee parent – her dad in her case – is, too, an important historical reminder. She draws her strong mom so well. You know, Jamaica is a matriarchal society. Her mom’s faith is of particular comfort to me but not to her daughter who is honest in her disbelief, touchingly so as she strives to understand what faith is. Her struggle is not so much to believe as to not disbelieve in God. I found this particularly interesting as I struggle to help friends to believe. To a non-Jamaican reader, I think this is a good example of why Jamaica can curl its fingers around your heart. I know so many people who simply have to have their Jamaica “fix” every now and then and Cynthia’s simplicity and joy in remembering explains why. For all your video games and high-tech goodies, I wish for every child the memory of sitting playing in a clean river bed all day . Now, in Canada, Cynthia yearns to live near to woods and streams and in a house with character but development keeps encroaching. In her gentle self-deprecating manner, she tells the story of her life with humour and irony, its achievements and its pain. A good home is where the heart is. I wished it would go on and on. As Oprah used to say, I want to buy all my friends a copy of this book.
Date published: 2013-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes, this IS an addictive read! If you read this article and enjoy it the way I did, you will LOVE this book. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/why-i-am-still-thinking-about-my-long-gone-childhood-home/article4569880/ "A Good Home" movingly and wittily describes the author's journey from her little 'pink house' in Jamaica to her lovely Victorian farmhouse north of Toronto. This is not quite like any memoir I've ever read. The linked stories are woven together in a way that keeps you turning the pages quickly as you would in a good novel, but the events and the writing make you stop reading and go 'oh!' in either recognition, or sadness, or delight, or just wonder at the amazing journey that life is in general, and for the author in particular. I loved that although the author grew up in Jamaica in a culture so differently from my own, her child's-eye view of the world was so similar to mine. The innocence that is gradually peeled away and the growing maturity that leads to wisdom is a universal journey, but the details are unique to each person. I loved how she described her first experience with cold when she arrived in Ontario as 'inhaling ice'. This is exactly how it feels to breathe in the cold, but it would take someone encountering this for the first time to find this original way to describe the frosty winter air. I loved the synchronicities that wove their way through these stories. That things that didn't make sense when they happened were found to have wonderful purpose months or years down the road. To tell them here would be to ruin the reader's pleasure. Suffice it to say, when you start reading this book,you will read it quickly, because it is compelling, and then when you get to the end, you'll think 'I wish I had read that more slowly, and savored it to make it last longer'.
Date published: 2013-05-23

Editorial Reviews

“A Good Home will delight your soul and touch your heart. There is magic in these words.” —DEBRA USHER, President and Editor-in-Chief, Arabella Magazine “Cynthia Reyes’ glass is almost always half full, but ours, as we read her uplifting story, brims over.” —COLIN McALLISTER and JUSTIN RYAN “This book is full of warmth, deep emotions, and a vibrant understanding of just what a home can mean.”—YVONNE BLACKWOOD, author of Into Africa: The Return “As A Good Home proves – word by word, line by line, and page by page – you can go home again.” —LEE GOWAN, author of Confession