Jamaica Magazine

Book Review: A Jamaican’s Journey to Time and Patience: Broken Vows, Shattered Dreams, Redeeming Grace

Book Review: A Jamaincan’s Journey to Time and Patience: Broken Vows, Shattered Dreams, Redeeming Grace

About the Book:
A Jamaican’s Journey to Time and Patience is Derrick Garland Coy’s portrait of his multi-ethnic family whose African, Chinese, and European roots merge in Jamaica during the 1800s, then scatter across the globe in the mid 1900s, sending him on an odyssey to discover and fulfill God’s call in his life, heal family wounds, and share Christ’s message of redeeming grace and love.

Against the historical background of 470 years of Spanish and British colonial rule over Jamaica and the island’s journey to independence, Derrick weaves the stories of the various lives of his forebears, and tells his own life story: born to a briefly married thirteen-year-old mother and ninteteen-year-old father, her struggles as a teenage single mother, her love affairs with British soldiers stationed in Jamaica, and her turbulent marriage to an alcoholic Irish university professor who moves the family to Hong Kong, Trinidad, and finally to Australia.

Derrick also shares his own journey—his early years in Jamaica, struggles in school, teenage rebellion and hatred for his parents, his dramatic conversion to Jesus Christ and call to ministry as a pastor and filmmaker, two failed marriages, straying from his Christian calling, and returning to faith in and service to Jesus Christ.

It’s an encouraging story of learning to trust and obey God in the midst of hardships, setbacks, and failures.

“Almost everyone can identify with at least portions of Derrick Garland Coy’s ‘Journey.’ To be sure, it is a geographical journey— from Jamaica to four continents. But it is also a rich, diverse journey of the mind, heart and soul…through the joys and heartbreaks of love…of accomplishment and frustration…of dreams that die hard or not at all. Most of all, Derrick’s journey is one guided by a God who surprises, frustrates, loves supremely and promises us ‘the long- distance race of our lives, for now and eternity, a race whose goal and price is Christ himself.’”
—David Dow
Retired CBS News correspondent
“This eloquent memoir is a son’s journey to find meaning in a single word: Father. Mr. Coy’s narrative strikes at the soul of what wounds a boy and what heals a man. It is about flesh and fire; will and warfare; sin and faith. It is one family’s story across generations and across nations. It is a journey in progress.”
—Dr. Karen Kenney
Psychologist, Encino, California
“This is an extremely well written memoir and is hard to put down. It exhibits the remarkable storytelling skills of its very gifted writer. He had much to write about, in this typical Jamaican soap opera of intrigue, love, sex and power plays occurring ‘only in Jamaica,’ between victims of that tempestuous colonial history, which is the Jamaican story.
“It is a fascinating if tragic story, with glimmers of breakthrough to a much hoped for harmony or maroon-like triumph against the odds. But from the beginning, the cards seemed stacked against any such outcome and longed for sense of fulfillment by that tormented family. And the diaspora dimensions of this group of people, only add to the intriguing misadventure of broken hopes and dreams…
“This amazing story evidently is catharsis for the author and could serve a similar purpose for those dealing with dysfunctional family systems. It is an impressive chronicle of events that could greatly benefit his offspring and readers.”
—Rev. Dr. Winston A. Lawson
Senior Pastor, Hillside Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Georgia
“A wakeup call for any who have difficulty facing their humanness, avoid honest reflection, and dismiss lightly their need for God’s forgiveness and offer of new life. The author’s vulnerability, integrity, and honesty inspire hope for us all.”
—Rev. Dr. Donn Moomaw
Former senior pastor, Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, California
“As a movie producer who knows about the arduous effort and years that it sometimes takes to bring a movie to the screen, I identify with Derrick’s decades-long journey to fulfill his calling as a Christian filmmaker, understand God’s will, and believe in a dream that seems long in coming. I was fascinated with his account of his family’s African, Chinese, and European roots merging in Jamaica, then spreading abroad again, his own worldwide travels at an early age, his dramatic conversion to Jesus Christ, and his maturing as a Christian through some very difficult periods of his life.
“This book will be an encouragement to readers who might be wondering why God seems so slow in opening doors to their goals and dreams. This is a winner…so settle in and be prepared for a marvelous, redemptive and victorious adventure!”
—Ken Wales
Movie Producer, Amazing Grace, Christy, Islands in the Stream, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and other feature films and television movies
“Derrick’s memoir is an exposé of his experiences of some of the peaks, the plains, and the challenges of life. His decision to expose his mind, soul, and emotions is to be commended. For some of us who shared his journey, his vulnerability opened memories, fountains of joy, and wells of pain long buried on our path.
“Its pages remind us once again that the Grace of God comes to us in redemption and endurance, and, sometimes, with mystery and a longing for understanding.”
—Rev. Dr. E. Raymond Chin
Senior Pastor, Covenant Faith Church of God, Chicago, Illinois
“I was very moved and inspired by Derrick’s memoir. Having grown up in a close-knit, loving family, I was struck by Derrick’s vivid description of his own experience growing up in such a highly dysfunctional family that I wondered how he ever survived to become an emotionally healthy adult. I’ve known Derrick since the 1980s when he and I served as coaches in the AYSO soccer league in which our children played, and we’ve served in various capacities at our church in Los Angeles. As Derrick admits in his memoir, he survived solely because of the love and redeeming grace of a loving heavenly father as revealed in Jesus Christ, and I think he knew early that all that is worth cherishing in the world begins in the heart.
“He lived a life full of adversity and times of failure, but he faced the challenges with courage and took those opportunities to learn and grow. As a returning prodigal son, Derrick finds in God the loving father he never had, and the inspiration through which to develop into a loving father to his own children, as well as the Christian husband that God created him to be.”
—Rafer Johnson
Decathlon gold medalist in the 1960 Rome Olympics; activist and founding member of the California Special Olympics; actor; and author of The Best that I Can Be (Doubleday, 1998)
“A riveting read. Derrick Coy has captured the essence of his life’s journey with skillful and perspicacious story telling. Every character comes alive revealing inner sentiments that engage the reader whether we like the character or not. This story deserves another format on the order of a television series or a full-length feature film. It is hoped that someone in the entertainment industry will make it happen. I can only wish that Coy will see it come to fruition. He deserves serious recognition for writing such a compelling revelation of his personal journey. It takes a strong individual to truthfully expose frailties and vulnerabilities that one spends years hiding or denying. I can’t wait to read the next opus! I highly recommend this work.”
—Omega Medina
Former senior manager of the Classical Awards for the GRAMMY Awards.
“This is more than a well-written work; it is a road map that speaks to the
 humanity of all people and the episodes in our lives that cause us
 to reach down deep into the dark places of our lives and find the small 
glimmers of light that give us hope—hope to go on and find the strength
 to continue our journey, hope to find and give forgiveness along the road that 
leads each of us to his or her journey’s end. May we all be as fortunate to find

soul-refreshing redemption, as Mr. Derrick Garland Coy has. I thank him for 
a brilliant thought-provoking memoir. It transports us
 from the dark times of our souls onto the mountain tops and into God’s shining 
—Charles Eric Johnson
Award-winning screenwriter, The George McKenna Story
“A Jamaican’s Journey to Time and Patience by Derrick Garland Coy is a remarkable memoir that reflects elements of hope, courage, determination and faith . . . Coy writes of the trials and tribulations in his 67 years of life by carefully illustrating the lessons he learned along the way—a testament to his faith which saw him through the most difficult of times . . . [This memoir] will have you turning page after page to uncover the story behind the story. The resounding message that you get from the memoir is that anyone can turn his or her life around. We choose our path and we have the power to change it.”
—Angela Walcottt
Excerpted from her longer review published in Share, Canada’s largest ethnic newspaper, which can be viewed at http://sharenews.com/memoir-reflects-hope-courage-determination-and-faith/
“…[I]t’s a wonderful book…The theme that ultimately runs most strongly through Derrick’s story is that of God’s repeated redemption. Derrick has learned, as all of us hopefully will, that the salvific love of Christ is not intended to be a one time offering. It is available to us not only when we first discover Christ, but every time we ‘re-discover’ Him and His amazing message of unconditional love. I highly recommend Derrick’s book to anyone who travels along life’s paths as a seeker of fulfilling grace.”
–Bleeding Edge Guy

About the Author:

Derrick Garland Coy

Derrick Garland Coy

Derrick Garland Coy has had a multifaceted career as a pastor, advertising writer, copy editor, filmmaker, financial advisor, entrepreneur, and high school English teacher.

He is a graduate of: The Jamaica School of Theology (Ministerial Studies); Anderson University (B.A., English); and California State University, Northridge (M.A. Education); and studied film production in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He lives with his wife, Diana, in Granada Hills, California, and is the father of three grown children and the grandfather of four.

His blog, “Reflections on the Christian Journey,” is found at http://dgcoy.me.

Buy the book “A Jamaican’s Journey To Time and Patience: Broken Vows, Shattered Dreams, Redeeming Grace ” at Amazon.com

About the author

Staff Writer