From Rum to Roots

From Rum to Roots

4.2 4
by Lloyd G. Francis

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In 1937 near Portland Cottage, in southern Jamaica, on a huge sugar estate, Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of the owner of the plantation, works making rum. Meanwhile in Kingston, Daisy, helps her mother managing an ice business and dreams of joining her elder sister in New York.

Seeking opportunity, Linton leaves the deep Jamaican countryside for New


In 1937 near Portland Cottage, in southern Jamaica, on a huge sugar estate, Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of the owner of the plantation, works making rum. Meanwhile in Kingston, Daisy, helps her mother managing an ice business and dreams of joining her elder sister in New York.

Seeking opportunity, Linton leaves the deep Jamaican countryside for New York and the collapse of the ice business and family crises force Daisy to leave Kingston, seeking a new start in the United States. They encounter a vibrant Jamaican-American community in New York, where they meet at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Becoming American citizens, they marry, and start a family. Ambition drives them to start a business and Linton capitalizes on a skill he learned as a young man in Jamaica, making a drink known in Jamaica as “Roots.” It proves wildly popular and the company, Family Roots, prospers beyond Linton’s and Daisy’s wildest dreams.

By 1986, the drink is a sensation. Money flows in, but something is missing. Happiness is as scarce as freshwater in the middle of the sea. Wrestling with their past while living in a land of plenty, Linton and Daisy discover that the truth is the only avenue to happiness.

Product Details

Marway Publishing
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Meet the Author

Lloyd was born in Oakland in 1961, a first-generation American child to Jamaican parents. As a child his trips to Jamaica in the 60's and 70's shaped who he became. Growing up in Hayward, California he was steeped in the island tradition of reggae, Jamaican cuisine, and patois.

After studying engineering, Lloyd became a staff photographer for the San Jose Mercury News. After 10 years he left newspapers to work for Yahoo Financial News Network and returned to journalism after 9-11. In 2001 Lloyd reported from Iraq for Newsweek Magazine, and went on to cover the war in Afghanistan. He covered the war in Iraq for Gannett Newspapers.

Lloyd returned to San Francisco in 2006. He lives with his wife, Leanne, his two sons, Marley and Waylon, a yellow nape Amazon parrot named Aquila and a rambunctious Red Lored Amazon parrot named Cosmo. He frequently takes long walks around San Francisco and Golden Gate Park, looking for great Instagram photographs.

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From Rum to Roots 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was completely captivated by the story from beginning to end. A good read!
beebeecald More than 1 year ago
This is yet another example of a historical fiction that more people need to know about and read. For me, this definitely opened my eyes to a time and place I never really knew about, but I certainly want to learn more. This follows the lives and families of Linton and Daisy and after they become entwined. While it does focus on Linton and Daisy, you do learn about other members of their family. Linton grew up an a farm/ranch in Jamaica that is owned by his father, Major. The thing about their relationship is that Linton is his bastard son so he never wants to acknowledge him as his son. This leads to some issues for Linton and is never really able to be honest about it. It certainly leads to other issues with his own son, but he is eventually able to overcome it and move past these problems. He is able to basically start as nothing in Jamaica and become a major business owner in America. He truly fits the "American dream" concept that so many people came to this country to achieve. At the same time, he eventually finds a way to hold onto his heritage. Daisy has her own tribulations in Jamaica and reasons to leave. Due to these unresolved issues, she also changes tremendously and isn't entirely able to form proper relationships with her family while in America. She falls into the normal trap of "money buying happiness". She is able to overcome this, but not without some consequences. I found it interesting to see how Linton and Daisy interpret being American differently and how they were affected by their own tribulations and were able to overcome them. Overall, I enjoyed this WAY more than I thought I would. It was pretty easy to read (especially once you got used to the Jamaican patois) and quick to get through. You can just fall into the lives of this family and no joke, I totally almost cried in a few places. That hasn't happened to me in ages. It was a nice blend of fact, fiction, and emotions. I would strongly recommend this to anyone and everyone I can. This was one of my favorite reads (possibly my favorite adult read) this year!
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Closed the Cover in exchange for a fair and honest review.  From Rum to Roots by Lloyd G. Francis is a dual narrative.  One story is told from the perspective of Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of a plantation owner in Jamaica.  The plantation owner, Major, keeps Linton's heritage a secret, but kind of watches out for him.  Kind of because it only happens when it benefits Major, not when it would help Linton necessarily.   Linton gets fed up and decides to make a change, to go to America.   The second story is about Daisy, one of three daughters of an ice seller.  Daisy yearns to go to America like her older sister, and eventually will get there.  In America, Linton and Daisy's stories converge.  While they seem to find the way to live the American Dream, they also have some issues in the way of their happiness.   I enjoyed From Rum to Roots.  I like how the stories met in America and that the characters learn about the true meaning of happiness.  I do have to say that the Jamaican slang used in the novel was, at time, very difficult for me.  I read some of it out loud, and that helped.  It was kind of like when I read Uncle Tom's Cabin and had a tough time with that diction.  Reading some of the phrases out loud was beneficial.   What do you think the American Dream consists of?  Thanks for reading,  Rebecca @ Love at First Book
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Two young Jamaican immigrants come to the United States in search of a better life, each with their own reasons for leaving their homes and the family behind. Meeting in a new country, with so much in common, both filled with ambition, they marry, raise a family and find success of sorts living the American Dream. But does financial success really give them the happiness they dream of? Linton McMann was born the secret son of a wealthy plantation owner, not afforded the luxury of claiming his birthright, yet expected to be “better” than other plantation workers by a father who is demanding and often harsh, for “appearance sake.” Daisy sees her opportunity to leave behind her old life when he mother’s business flounders, but she has left more than bad memories in Jamaica. Is the ability to buy whatever she wanted and live an excessive lifestyle worth what she has given up? Have Linton and Daisy over-indulged their young children in an effort to forget their pasts? Will there be resentment from the new additions to the family? The clash between the new life in the United States and the old one in Jamaica becomes more apparent as each day passes and a sometimes naïve younger generation finds a “romantic legend” in a hated past for their parents. Will past mistakes haunt the future? In the long run, was the American Way really an improvement over the Jamaican way of life? How does one get back to their roots? Told over decades of time, and miles of cultural differences, by Lloyd G. Francis tells an emotionally deep tale of longing for a better life, and finding that maybe the grass isn’t always as green as it looks. Life is what you make it, how you value it and whether you truly know what is important. This is tale has its dark sides and the drama often runs high, as each well-developed character adds their piece to the story. Perfectly interspersed lighter moments add brilliant depth to this family saga. Each scene comes to life, from the racial/class issues in Jamaica to the excesses of America.