Jamaica Magazine

Ancestors

Written by Staff Writer

Book Description
This dynamic and inspiring novel is the result of Paul Crooks’ thirteen-year quest to find his African forebears. His amazing journey took him from suburban north London to the Caribbean, and from there to the Gold Coast of Africa where his story originally began.

In the late 18th century, at the age of ten, Paul Crook’s great-great-great-grandfather John Alexander Crooks was captured and put aboard a slave ship from West Africa bound for Jamaica. Ancestors is the fictionalised account of John’s experiences in the forty years from 1798 to 1838, the year the slaves in the British West Indies were set free.

Against the backdrop of the Crooks’ sugar plantation in Hanover, Jamaica and through the experiences of his protagonist August, Paul Crooks recreates the pain and torture suffered by the slaves, their loves and losses, their conversion by the missionaries to Christianity, and the ultimate battle for emancipation.

Paul Crooks also describes the research he undertook, the sources and repositories of information he accessed, the barriers that he had to overcome, and his joy at discovering lost families, past and present.

Author’s Message:
Ancestors is my attempt to reconstruct my family’s pre-emancipation history in a way that aims to be both informative and enjoyable. But I pray that the spirits of my ancestors, and others, whose experience of the slave holocaust has been documented and handed down to us, will forgive me for the occasional fictional liberties.

THE AUTHOR:
Paul Crooks is 37. He was raised a stone’s throw form Wembley Football stadium, London England and now lives not far away with his wife and daughter. He started searching for his African slave ancestors after being told it was not possible and it has taken him over eleven years of research to trace them. Ancestors is his first novel.

For more information: http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~prcrooks

About the author

Staff Writer