Apr 27, 2015

Memoir: FINDING SAMUEL LOWE by Paula Williams Madison

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

A friend sent this book to me and I'm so glad she did. It was a terrific and inspirational read, about a woman's determination to find her mother Nell's paternal family, a family her mother had lost contact with at age 3, when she was separated from her Chinese father, Samuel Lowe, and hidden away in the countryside by her Jamaican mother, Albertha. Years later, Nell's daughter. Paula Williams Madison has traced her mother's family lineage to a village in Guangdong, China and found relatives she never knew she had.  



Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem by 
Published April 14, 2015; Amistad Press
Genre: memoir
Rating: 5/5

First chapter, first paragraph:
He gave me one of his serious, twenty-four karat, all-Roosevelt looks. "Baby," he asked, "do you know you're Black?"I looked at him, puzzled and defensive. "Yes, I know I am Black." He looked a little hesitant, as if he were afraid to say any more, afraid to make the next point. He was worried about the unknowns. He worried that I might indeed find this family of mine, of Samuel Lowe's - find whomever might still exist. 
Teaser: (page 174)
In a few weeks, my world had been expanded by another continent - a huge continent where one corner houses my family. I have a place, a village, elders, cousins. They know me and they know my name....
I am Hakka.
I am Lowe Ding Chow's granddaughter.
I am Nell Vera Lowe's only daughter.
I am a Lowe.   
My comments: Very impressive research went into this memoir about a woman's determination and success in finding and reuniting with her mother's paternal side of the family in Jamaica, the U.S., and in China. Moving and inspirational, it's a must read for all who value the importance of family, tradition, and culture. I admired the author's frankness and her sharing her family's complex history. 

Book descriptionSpanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, a powerful memoir that is a universal story of one woman's search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity. Finding Samuel Lowe includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert and photos in the text. (publisher)

The author, Paula Williams Madison, and her husband Roosevelt Madison, live in Los Angeles. 

26 comments:

  1. This sounds really good. Going back and tracing one's recent roots is a popular topic in literature. It can be the source of great narratives.

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    1. This writer did it with gusto, Brian, and help along the way.

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  2. Oh wow, I love the sound of this book! I really enjoy reading about family history like this and the sound of the writing is great as well! Basically, I'm going to put this one high on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  3. Sounds like a good memoir. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. I read it in two days, Diane, and it's extraordinary in many ways.

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  4. This book sounds very impressive. I hope you enjoy it!


    Here is my Teaser.

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  5. This does sound interesting. Tracing your roots is certainly popular these days. :-)

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    1. In the book, the author goes back only to her maternal grandfather and his family! But family records go back to BC.

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  6. I don't read much nonfiction but this one does sound fascinating. I'm on the linky if you want to see what I'm teasing this week. Happy reading!

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    1. I read few memoirs myself, but this one was intriguing.

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  7. Sounds like a story that would hold my interest throughout. Thanks for sharing....and here's mine: “EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES”

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  8. I love memoirs of the "average everyman" more than celebrities, so I would be interested in this and especially because of the "tracing your roots" angle. I like Who Do You Think You Are tv show about just such an endeavor.

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    1. I will look up that tv show, Rita. Wasn't aware of it.

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  9. I really want to read this one. Her life involves three countries:China, Jamaica and the United States. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. This one sounds interesting! I am adding it to my list :)

    My Teaser Tuesday
    Tabatha @Shattered Hearts Reviews

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  11. This sounds really interesting, I do enjoy a great memoir, and one like this that has a goal is the best kind. I'd keep reading! Here is my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-28/

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  12. I understand this is a true story, but I still love stories about people who discover a whole family they never knew existed. Sounds terrific.

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  13. Sounds like a fascinating read, Harvee. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Catherine. Thanks for visiting and reading.

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I love getting comments and your thoughts...