‘Olga – A Daughter’s Tale’ is my first book and was written as a result of genealogical research into my mother’s past, her family and their history and culture. What I discovered filled me with such admiration for my mother, I wanted future generations of my family to know about her. That’s why I wrote ‘Olga – A Daughter’s Tale’.
In 1994, my mother, Carmen Browne, was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton in the UK seriously ill. As she slowly recovered I realized that had she died so too would the chance of my finding out about her past, her family in Jamaica and, of particular importance to me, who my father was information she had consistently refused to share with me. So I decided to find out for myself.
My first discovery was that my mother’s real name was Olga Browney, born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and one of eleven children from a close-knit, coloured Catholic family. A kind, naïve and gentle girl, my mother arrived in London in 1939 and lived with a malevolent, alcoholic aunt, intending to stay for only six months. However, world events, personal tragedy and malicious intent all combined to prevent her from returning home to Kingston.
Written in the form of diary entries and letters, Olga – A Daughter’s Tale is based on a true story about cruelty, revenge and jealousy inflicted on an innocent young woman and about moral courage, dignity, resilience and, in particular, love. It is the story of a remarkable woman, who because of circumstances, made a choice, which resulted in her losing contact with her beloved family in Jamaica, until nearly half a century later, when her past caught up her.