Let Me Tell You Something

Want some insights on feminism, religion, politics that will make you laugh, cry, or scream? Well, you’ll find them all in a little book by J.A. Lovelock. Her unique wit and engaging musings that come from her experiences and observations on contemporary life is what we sometimes need to ‘escape’ a life filled with so many distractions. The recently published Let Me Tell You Something is a collection of commentaries published in the UK version of the Jamaica Gleaner over the years.

JALovelockWith 16 different topics and divided into two sections, one can read based on themes or interests. But, if you’re like me who reads from cover to cover, there is an intermission in the middle, giving you time and permission to laugh out loud, bitch, or simply absorb. Her rumination on men are particularly perceptive, yet tickling. Take this one for example.

At last some good news about Black Caribbean men. When it comes to housework they are the best, according to a study carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research in Oxford. These men leave their Caucasian and Asian brothers standing when it comes to vacuuming, washing, and ironing.This is the kind of man every woman wants.And especially if he can cook, too. Eh, Eh! A proper domestic god. Thanks to their historical roots, Caribbean men tend to have a more balanced family structure and are more inclined to the domestics. So says the researchers. Who wants a man going out in the big wide (and wild) world, toiling by the sweat of his brow and bringing home the bacon when he can be getting that stain out of my silk top I dripped gravy on? Bring him come, is what I say.

What makes this book relevant and accessible is the fact that Lovelock weaves her own philosophy on life through these once-published opinion pieces creating a seamless fabric textured with facts, street wisdom, and humour. As funny as some of her contemplations are, readers are ‘assaulted’ with the immediacy and reality of some of the subjects she tackles, like the reality of police stop and search of black men, human rights, sexual assault perpetrated by celebrities. She handles these topics respectfully, not just with her own take on it, but also with concrete examples of incidences and their outcomes. In this way, lessons are learned and readers are left to ponder.

A quick and enjoyable read, Lovelock’s little book does what it set out to do, share contemporary stories, anecdotes, and wisdom to lighten the load many of us carry just navigating through the 21st century. She even throws out little Jamaican proverbs to warn and teach us to live fully, yet with our eyes open. When was the last you heard these tidbits of wisdom?

Fiyah deh a musmus battam, im tink a kool breeze!

Mi cum yah fi drink, mi nuh cum fi count cow!

Take these traditional oral lessons and run with it, as Lovelock has in her own life. A Barrister-at-Law, academic lawyer, lecturer, legal consultant, writer, and radio presenter, this British-Jamaican woman is the perfect example of how to carve out your own future in an unpredictable world. And this book reflects her colourful life journey.