Prudence believed she was an ordinary little girl, just like any another little girl in her class. That was until the day Sister Agatha turned up during her favourite lesson and changed her life forever. It was then, she knew she was different and being different, in an atmosphere of intolerance, had a powerful impact on her life in post-war Great Britain.
Brought up by a rigid Catholic mother, she was sent to a Catholic school where she suffered a range of abuse. Prudence learned to live with the constant fear of being sinful and the ever-impending threat of hell. Most of all, she learned her greatest sin was not being like those around her.
Prudence shows us the world through her eyes as she matures from childhood to womanhood attempting to come to terms with her differences as she struggles to find her identity as black and British. The difficulties she faces are a part of the history of black people in Britain at a time in the 1950s and 60s when being black wasn't nice, and they were apologetically referred to as coloured. She negotiates the pitfalls of not fitting in based purely on the colour of her skin, at a time when the Civil Rights movement was gathering pace in America, and when black was becoming beautiful.
Prudence straddles the time-line between being called coloured and being recognised as black ,as well as the relaxing of sexual repression and the development of free love in a period of rigid Catholic intolerance of the period. Heartbroken as a result of not being white, she toys with the idea of becoming a nun to escape the prejudices of her world. The vow of obedience, she could keep, but when she breaks the vow of chastity, she believes marriage is her only option. Does she marry the man of her dreams?
Prudence has what is now termed at resilience, and throughout her story bounces back . She views the world in her own unique way that is both humorous and questioning, as she tries hard to fit into a culture that is hers, but attitudes that deny her that right.
About Adele Brown
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Published January 29, 2013
Biographies & Memoirs, History.