BOOK: The Girl from Lamaha Street: By Sharon Maas

—  A Guyanese girl at a 1960s English boarding school and her search for belonging

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An incredibly movingtruly inspiring story of the power of determination. An absolutely stunning read.’ Katharine Birbalsingh

Fascinating and poignant… an astoundingly honest and intimate memoir.’ Angela Petch

Perhaps it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps it’s true that you only know what you truly love when you no longer have it. But I wouldn’t have known any of this if I hadn’t left it all behind to discover where my home truly was…

Growing up in British Guiana in the 1950s, Sharon Maas has everything a shy child with a vivid imagination could wish for. She spends her days studying bugs in the backyard, eating fresh mangos straight from the tree and tucked up on her granny’s lap losing herself in books.           

But with her father campaigning for the country’s independence and her mother away for work, there’s a void in Sharon’s heart, and she craves rules and structure. The books she devours give her a glimpse of life in a faraway country: England. And although none of the characters in these books look like her, her insatiable curiosity leads Sharon to beg to be sent to boarding school.

Life at a conservative, Christian school is quite different from Sharon’s liberal, atheist upbringing. Girls march silently and single file along corridors and earn badges for deportment. There are twice-daily hymns, grace before and after meals and mandatory bedside prayers. And, all the girls are posh and white, while Sharon is the only one with dark skin. Will she ever fulfil her dream of horseback riding over green hills and going on adventures like her literary heroes? And has she truly found what she was looking for in this chilly corner of the world, thousands of miles away from home?

You will be swept off your feet by the unputdownable story of Sharon Maas’s extraordinary childhood in British Guiana and England, a beautiful and inspiring coming-of-age tale of self-discovery, determination and chasing your dreams.

Praise for The Girl from Lamaha Street:

Beautiful. Poignant. Phenomenal. This was a beautiful read and I learnt so much. I cried and I smiled andthere was nothing more that I wanted from this book. Truly a gem.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘To say this story was inspirational would be an understatement. I was utterly mesmerized… As a woman of color, I recognized myself and my experiences in the pages of this memoir… powerful, moving, and heartwarming… I devoured this book, and it is no doubt a five-star read.’ Goodreads reviewer

Enlightening… powerful…Beautifully written… I found myself turning and turning, immersed in the story. A wonderful, evocative read.’ Nicki’s Book Blog

Engaging and intriguing… so good that I was completely enthralled from beginning to end.’ NetGalley reviewer

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Comments

  • Brother Man  On 04/10/2022 at 12:29 am

    Ok, a girl from Lamaha Street goes to England and attends a conservative Christian school.

    She happens to be the only student of colour. Everyone else is white with blue eyes.

    This scenario unfolds every day when students from the tropics migrate north to the colder regions of the world. Nothing unique or unusual here.

    So what?

  • Jean Powell  On 04/10/2022 at 12:31 am

    I’m looking forward to reading your book, in fact to reading most of them. I too was born in British Guiana, and went to boarding school in England, although I think ten years ahead of you. Although whilst I was in England my parents moved to Trinidad, so I did not return to B.G. to live.

  • Peggy  On 04/10/2022 at 9:53 am

    How wonderful that some folks were given envious opportunities to higher learning when most of us, at that time, wondered whether we will get a school bag and went to school without shoes. I say be grateful for your blessings and bounty.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/10/2022 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for bringing Maas’ latest novel to our attention. After connecting with Maas’ memorable character in her novel, The Far Away Girl, I cannot wait to meet the girl from Lamaha Street. The author’s greatest strength, in my opinion, is her ability to immerse the reader in the inner lives and world of her characters.

  • Esther Turner  On 04/10/2022 at 6:01 pm

    I an going to purchase this book today

    • Bernard  On 04/11/2022 at 8:36 pm

      Maas has written eleven books to date.

      • Bernard  On 04/15/2022 at 2:13 am

        Did you know that Lamaha Street was named after the Lama River?

        Most of the other Streets in Georgetown were named after plantation owners, prominent businessmen from Britain, British royalty, and Georgetown’s military history.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/15/2022 at 5:18 am

    Lama River is a stream in Guyana and has an elevation of 13 metres. Lama River is situated southwest of Two Hip Creek, and west of Krapa Creek.

    • Bernard  On 04/15/2022 at 12:31 pm

      The uninitiated would assume that the Lama River has to be nearby.

  • wally n  On 04/16/2022 at 2:55 pm

    What about the 40 feet.trench, where did that end…I can’t remember, anyone???

    • Ramesh  On 04/16/2022 at 3:44 pm

      Lamaha Street derives its name from the Lamaha Creek. Lamaha Creek was the source of fresh water for the town’s residents.

      In the 1880s piped water became available for the first time.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/17/2022 at 12:09 am

    Click to access report.pdf

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/17/2022 at 12:17 am

    The structures and reservoirs are called water conservancies. Completed worVs include the East Demerara (Lamaha) Water Conservancy, covering about 150 square miles between the Demerara and Mahaica Rivers, which is the principal source of water supply for Georgetown; and the Tapakuma and Capoey Water Conservancies on the Essequibo Coast (table 1), which reportedly supply water largely for the irrigation of rice.

    Those under construction and planned include the Boerasirie between the Essequibo and Demerara Rivers, several conservancies between the Mahaica and Berbice Rivers, and one between the Berbice and Courantyne Rivers. In swampy areas where no conservancies exist a series of “back dams” are used to retain water for irrigation. The reported total yield of all the planned and completed water conservancies will average considerably more than 1 million acre-feet a year.

    British Guiana circa 1957

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