...Unknown abuse, I was being molded for progress, a model given by god on which my mother can add the finishing touches....So now I breathe British air, with airs akin to royal heirs- my mum thought she was making a dark life fair.
This passage comes from one of the earlier accounts of K's life as he takes us through his journey;and what a emotionally charged journey Derek Owusu takes us on in 'That reminds me'.
We explore the story through a series of glimpses, dropping in on different times and era's of K's life, one filled with hope, regret, curiosity and determination. The story is a mix of poetry and prose and while we are guided along his timeline it gives us the chance to explore more important life lessons just as K does.
Some stand out moments include K's internal battle with religion and god, the emotional tightrope act he endures with his father, trying to forgive his family for putting him to care and his identity- what it means being a black man.
Another important struggle that builds up across the story is K's battle with himself and mental health. We notice early signs of how his childhood and adolescence impact on this and each and every scenario eventually snowballs into a greater disease that goes on to effect K.
At times it was hard to read the story, enduring K's plight and struggles to be accepted into society. He was desperately holding on to any meaningful relationship all the while trying to find his place. The poetry infused into the writing almost made it hypnotic and as I kept on reading drew me further into K's world and life.
'That reminds me' is a fantastic read and Derek Owusu does not hold back in exploring the harsh realities of K, and these same experiences are very much alive in our society today.