Through the prism of memory, middle-aged Harry sets out to recapture his youthful years and the right but mostly wrong turnings he made.
Making Sense of Past Time is a coming-of-age story of an idealistic young man’s attempt to escape his provincial hometown in pursuit of a life of enrichment.
Just age twenty, Harry could not know that leaving his country to enter another would place him in a state of total uprootedness and that success may not come his way. He hoped to fulfil his ambition of obtaining a better life and self-realisation.
Harry chronicles his fears of not amounting to much if he remained in Georgetown, Guyana, and struggles with his father. He was overjoyed to leave his provincial country for “greener pastures” in the big-city energy of London.
However, surprises were in store for him and challenging his character. He had difficulties finding employment, housing and happiness in the environment of racial discrimination in Great Britain during the early 1960s.
Life in London wasn’t everything he’d hoped it would be. “Living on the dole” from the Employment Exchange to “beating the tube” and learning to shoplift with a rough group of friends.
His idealistic pursuit of an authentic life runs into trouble and becomes contradictory, compelling him to make compromises along the way.
This saga is full of humour, youthful passion, and dreams and allows the reader to glimpse the British class system and the social life of immigrant London. Harry Holmes’s story involves introspection, self-flagellation, irony, determination, and perseverance.