What I’ve Been Reading: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

The reason I love joining book clubs is that they encourage me to read books that don’t usually cross my path.

Kindle on a desk showing the front cover of the book Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. A cup of coffee and a flower basket are next to the kindle.

I’ve loved getting back into reading this year and, after previous years of a conveyor belt of crime thrillers – it’s been refreshing to read a mind-opening semi-autobiographical novel of a black, gay British man.

Rainbow Milk is written by Paul Mendez and is a fascinating story of diversity; tackling some difficult themes but accomplishing their purpose by exposing them to the reader – providing pivotal points for reflection and discussion.

“We leave the Garden of Eden for the Land of Milk and Honey and find Sodom and Gomorrah.”

– Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk

Beginning with the 1950’s Windrush generation; Norman and Claudette Alonso leave Jamaica with dreams of a new life in England – which are heart achingly dampened by racism on their arrival.

Fast-forward five decades to the story of millennial Jesse and his Jehovahs Witness upbringing; which is interwoven with sexual identity, prostitution and the continuing racism now encountered by his generation.

The frank, yet beautifully written, narrative vividly brings those experiences to life. You not only visualise, you feel and empathise too.

“I think I know what you mean about borrowed nostalgia. I definitely experienced it really strongly when we were listening to Joy Division earlier.”

– Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk

As someone who also associates music with nostalgia, I loved Mendez use of music throughout the book. I love it even more that I’ve found the Rainbow Milk playlist on Spotify.

I’m a similar age to the protagonist Jesse, so I enjoyed the memories conjured up of my youth by the music used in Jesse’s story. It was also an opportunity to contemplate the stark contrast in our lives, both then and now.

Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez Book cover, colours of the rainbow outlining a man standing with no top on and a pair of trousers.

A wonderful combination of music, writing, art and gardening references provide the soft undertones to the difficult themes throughout the book; all equally contributing to a thought-provoking and enjoyable read.

“It’s nothing special. I just write to remember things and explain things to myself.”

– Paul Mendez, Rainbow Milk

Writing to remember things and to explain things, not only to oneself – but to the world, is what makes writing one of the most special and cathartic skills in the world.

And the semi-autobiographical Rainbow Milk is a well-explained cathartic piece of literature.

World Book Day: Book Recommendations

Baby Bunting

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What I’m Currently Reading – ‘The Celestine Prophecy’ Series by James Redfield

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Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner – Baby Power Ballads 

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Cruising the Coast to Crusoe’s 

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Pokémon No-Go

Yup – I’ve downloaded it. I would even go as far to say I was in the process of changing my phone settings to get this app in the UK prior to its launch. Yeah – I was one of those. I needn’t have gone to the trouble as it turns out it was actually […]

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Pink Hair Don’t Care

I get bored with my hair. It tends to change with the seasons; I embrace the blonde bombshell and beach waves in summer and the toned down caramel colours with a fuller fringe in the winter. Just before I fell pregnant, I experimented with balayage.  It just happened. A tinkering of dark at the roots migrating to softer caramels […]

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Saturday Snaffles – Breakfast in Tynemouth

We seem to have fallen into a wonderful habit of going out for breakfast on a Saturday morning. There’s nothing quite like us all piling into the car and going for an early (ish) morning drive along the coast in search of a bacon sarnie. Our pit stop this Saturday was Tynemouth Park. We frequented […]

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Maternity Makeup Must-haves

FRIDAY 12th AUGUST 2016 For the record this blog isn’t always going to be about maternity and baby stuff – I get bored so I’m writing about what’s going on in my life. Which other than keeping a small human alive and successfully getting us both up and out of the house every day, doesn’t really consist of much. So here’s my […]

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