HenriethaHenrietha – Book One

A pair of novellas about friendship and endurance in the face of hardship.
In the titular story, Johnson introduces an unlikely pair of friends: Joanna White, a white Canadian journalist struggling to overcome the breakup of her long-term relationship, and Henrietha Browne, a Jamaican woman who has seen her share of troubles. Henrietha relates her history of oppression and abuse as well as her quest to find autonomy in a world beset with racism, sexism and poverty.

In the process, Joanna comes to a deeper understanding of her own oppression and how her identity, while playing a role in both her successes and failures, is more of a bridge than a barrier to her communion with women of all races and backgrounds.

A smaller novella follows, Waiting for the World to Change, with a similar structure as black lawyer Susan Ottawa seeks counsel with Jamaican housekeeper Anita Kingsley. As they share their feelings about men, religion and racism, Susan sees her life in a new light and slowly opens her heart to
Anita’s brand of optimistic spirituality.

Cathartic and politically thoughtful, the stories it contains look pointedly at injustices that go ignored and say things that need to be said.

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3 thoughts on “Joyce M. Johnson : Henrietha

  • 02/08/2012 at 10:38 pm

    I am happy to have purchased and read Henrietha…it was money well spent on the brave even heroic essence in the material presented.
    I am reminded that there is a universal thread that connects us all in uncanny ways. I am especially heartened that the writer took the temerity to present abuse in the black-Jamaican context. Her carriage was real and impactful and must already be another such in the un-earthing of abuse in the Jamaican community at large. This subject is cloaked by a culturally conspired silence of shame – one which sets in with whispered alarm only, once the vice is revealed. Given the reign of Jamaican reserve to speak so openly as did Ms. Johnson regarding abuse that for me was a significant and brave step toward globalising the black experience around abuse.
    Kudos to Ms. Johnson for taking me on an excursion through a sector of life and its especial circumstances that cover the human experience by extension.
    I have seen a video extract on YouTube (from Henrietha Book 2) re Fatherlessness in the black community. I am astonished by the writer’s relevance which makes me only hanker the more for Book 2’s release next summer.

  • 02/08/2012 at 10:56 pm

    I am a young girl of sixteen who can relate to what Henrietha went through. I am a survivor of abuse in a family with Jamaican background.
    I couldn’t hold back tears that I cried as I read. By the end of the read I was inspired by Henrietha’s strength of character and her survival instinct. If there’s a lesson that the book taught me it was that although things may seem so gloomy we should have faith and we will pull through whatever the situation is.

    Of course I will pick up on Book 2 which I expect will have the strong writing from the author Joyce M. Johnson

  • 09/08/2012 at 3:35 pm

    Good story-telling.At some points I was moved in a disturbing way…but I guess that’s the way I respond to emotional material which is everywhere in the book…I hope it gets read by everyone who likes to read moving contents in a book…

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