Book Review of Windward Family
August 29, 2023

Book Review of Windward Family

by Camille Saunders

The author, Alexis Keir launched his book Windward Family at the Youlou Art Centre last April.

At the time of the launch, his book had not arrived at bookstores in St Vincent and the Grenadines. I am happy to report that finally his book is now available in local bookstores.

Alexis Keir’s book, Windward Family, is a joy to read! It makes for interesting and satisfying reading. I will be upfront and admit I am biased. I truly enjoy reading books about my homeland, St Vincent and the Grenadines. So when I got my hands on his book, I knew I was going to enjoy and treasure reading his book.

I am always curious to know what the author’s take on SVG is. I want to know, are they paying attention to the things which I think make SVG special and unique? I guess I am trying to find out what issues we might have in common or do not.

Alexis set out to write a tender book. It is written with great care, love and respect. It’s a remarkable book which should be read by all “Vincies”. He writes about living abroad, what it’s like coming back and visiting his family and about what it is like to be from the Caribbean growing up in England.

He is willing to share and he shares deeply. He tells it as he sees it. He shares very personal feelings. There is no holding back, he lays bare what he is feeling.

You learn about his family, the love and pride he has for them. He writes about the slights he suffered as a black boy growing up in England and his curiosity to experience all that is around him.

He writes about “Vincy” food, and the people from his village. You feel and recognize his community, it is familiar and endearing, it’s reassuring and comfortable. When he writes about SVG. I am struck by the topics he has chosen to focus on. There are several instances in his book where I was actually shaking my head in agreement and thinking “Yes that is so true”.

His descriptions of SVG are vivid. He knows the landscape and writes about it with confidence.

What I find impressive about his book is the fact that he has included wonderful nuggets of the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines. He writes about people from St Vincent, who lived in England during the eighteen hundreds. How they got there, what they did and when they died.

He writes about Chatoyer, La Soufriere and much more.

While reading Windward Family I kept thinking his book should be on the reading list for students in secondary schools.

I highly recommend this book.