Dew Angels

Fiction - Cultural
384 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2013
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Author Biography

Melanie Schwapp was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She attended Montego Bay High School in St. James from 1st to 5th form, then was enrolled in St. Andrew High School for Girls in 1982 to sit her A’level exams.

Two short migrations at two key stages of her life opened Melanie’s eyes to the cultural and social discriminations in society, and thus began her quest for understanding through writing. At the age of five she moved to England with her family, where she was awakened to the nature of colour prejudice, and then during her late teens and early twenties she attended the University of South Carolina, where the subtle traits of discrimination cemented her interest in the social repercussions of theses prejudices.

Although Melanie has written recreationally all her life, her first published work was a children’s book, “Lally-May’s Farm Suss” in 2005 in which she revives a Jamaican myth and several cultural aspects through the eyes of a child. Her second publication was the novel “Dew Angels” in 2011 where she explores the hidden aspect of prejudice and other social handicaps in Jamaican society.

Melanie resides in Kingston with her husband and three children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

In Redding, a town on the island of Jamaica, Nola Chambers is born with dark skin to a family that always has prized its light skinned members. Her father favors Nola's light-skinned sister Louisa and beats Nola as her mother looks the other way, chopping pineapples, mangoes and such for the jellies she makes to sell. Nola's teacher at school, Slugga, assigns Nola to work with fellow students Delroy Reckus and Dahlia Daley. Dahlia's mother, Merlene, operates a bar and grill in town that supposedly attracts men for the favors its women offer, so Nola cannot bring Dahlia to the Chambers home. Merlene offers Dahlia and Nola wonderful foods to eat after school, and Nola delights in eating without her father berating her for being overweight. Nola truly loves these times with Dahlia, Merlene and with Delroy. She hasn't had such a good time since her Grampy was alive, years before. But will these times of happiness last?

"Dew Angels" by Melanie Schwapp is a delightful and well-written story that tells realistically of life in modern-day Jamaica. The characters speak in the everyday dialect but the reader will have no problem in understanding language. The main character Nola is a wonderful literary creation as she slowly grows into the person she was meant to be despite the culture in which she is raised as an outcast. Nola's parents are realistic portrayals of a family dealing, not always so kindly, with one of its members being a throw-back to generations of long ago. Dahlia, her mother Merlene, Nola's sister Louisa, Delroy, Slugga, Mad Aggie, and all the other characters, including Eric and his minions, are true to their characters as Jamaican residents."Dew Angels" tells a universal tale of survival that readers everywhere will want to read. It is an eye opener!