The Volcano, Montserrat and Me: Twenty years with an active volcano Kindle Edition
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- File size : 2426 KB
- Print length : 278 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication date : February 23, 2015
- Publisher : Lally Brown; 2nd edition (February 23, 2015)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00TYKF1HE
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #610,935 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is a remarkable account of the day-to-day lives of living with the growling, fluctuating and spitting beast that was Montserrat's volcano. I felt as if I was living through the whole three years with Lally and her neighbours and I honestly don't know how she and the islanders remained sane. Not only was there the constant reshuffling of homes from areas that increasingly fell into the danger zones, but there were also the health threats prompted by the fallout from the volcano's 'burps'. Added to that were the tension, fear and very real danger. Tragedy struck when it was least expected and the islanders were shaken into leaving in their droves, but Lally and her husband stayed on, right up until 1998.
What I loved about the book was all the vignettes of the local characters. Lally Brown is clearly a very kind person and she gained the affection and loyalty of many of the islanders and she describes them with real love in her pen. I also loved the snippets of local speech and the descriptions of the events and customs that coloured the people's lives, including the somewhat colonial style of the administration.
The narrative changes frequently from past to present and back again, which I found effective as a means of drawing me in and then making me stand back to view the bigger picture. It's a fascinating and absorbing story, but it was also quite an emotional rollercoaster. For lovers of memoir, volcanos and history, I would recommend this highly, and I'll look forward to reading Lally Brown's other memoir before too long.
The author kept a good diary, so this is the result, sometimes told in the present tense, sometimes in the past tense.
Top reviews from other countries
Lally describes the volcanic activity but also captures the fear, the constant sense of waiting for disaster to strike and yet the ongoing mundanity of life.
I have flown over Montserrat since the eruption and it really brought home to me how frightening it must have been. Lives were lost and disrupted, homes destroyed. Yet people who stayed had to live in fear for their lives.
Well done Lally. I think I would have ‘done a runner’.
I found this book easy to read and informative about something few of us will ever experience at first hand.
As the wife of a British government official, Lally Brown recounts their experiences living on Monserrat from 1995. The expatriate lifestyle is familiar for them and begins in a typical way. But that soon alters as a previously dormant volcano grumbles into life. For them, the events that follow are life-changing.
The book, written with a journalistic style, captivated me for several reasons. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the geological transformations as the volcano morphs into a deadly monster. I felt the dreadful suspense experienced by islanders as they play a waiting game with Nature. It’s unpredictable, it’s menacing, it’s gripping.
I was astonished by the bravery shown by Lally Brown and her family, along with so many others. The havoc of evacuations, losses, food shortages, devastation. It’s nitty-gritty stuff. But there’s also lots of humour in this book, brilliantly placed and told with bags of inimitable British stiff upper lip.
I found this an incredibly compelling read. I love the author’s writing style and will definitely be reading more or her work.
Her descriptions of the evacuations, the loss of life and the constant menace of the active volcano are breath taking! I did hold my breath at some points. The resilience shown by them and the islanders who remained is astonishing. At times the fear is palpable. I cannot even begin to imagine living in a state of high alert and yet they tried as far as possible to carry on with their lives as best they could. I would have been on the first plane home.
It's an incredible tale and describes a situation that very few of us would experience. It’s a well written memoir that kept my interest right to the end. It’s informative and exciting, heart-breaking and funny at times. Highly recommended.
The author’s life had moved on twenty years and her husband’s new contract took them to another island paradise in the Caribbean.
At the time of their arrival in early 1995, the islanders had just finished rebuilding after being devastated by Hurricane Hugo six years earlier. Little did any of them know what lay in store for them.
Soon after the couple arrived, everything changed without warning. After 350 years of dormancy, the volcano in the Soufriere Hills above the capital of Plymouth became active.
Lally Brown tells the story of the ensuing three years through her journal entries. They capture the immediacy and horror of the situation that everyone on the island had to endure.
I found this memoir difficult to put down. The author’s fluid writing style, laced with wry humour, made me feel I was living in the moment with her.
Terry Waite, CBE, summed it up when he described the book as, ‘a moving and detailed story of a courageous people with insights only an eyewitness can give’.
This memoir is a must-read. It is a story of grit, determination, and courage through extraordinarily tough times.