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Untamed Passions of an Enigmatic Jamaican Man


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A Jamaican man shares his sensuality, desires, and frustrations in a troubled island nation.

Donovan Moore is certainly an enigma. He presents his thoughts out of sequence, arranged more by importance than chronology. He is possessed first by one facet of his life, then the next, but the threads tying it together hide between the lines. Explicitly sexual and searingly graphic, Moore isn’t shy with the juicy details. Not so with matters of the heart. He withholds recollections of childhood and close friendships. On an endless quest for a love that satisfies the soul, he admits himself a philandering husband doomed to the sadness of repeated losses.

Jamaica is more complicated than Montego Bay’s squeaky-clean resorts and beaches. Moore’s horror stories of rampant crime, police brutality, and murder contradict the island’s good-time, ganja smoking reputation. A history of racist colonialism, Christian moralizing, and income disparity infuriates Moore. His anger fuels discord at church and at work. A string of affairs with gullible women leads him not to love and fulfillment, but to repeated disappointment. When he moves his teenage lover into his marital home, we know it can’t end well. Yet the girl’s brutal murder is a terrible shock. And Moore, desensitized to the violence and ducking police suspicion, cannot even grieve.

Moore intends to leave us with an enigma. He engages readers with the memoir of an educated, unassuming Jamaican man, ending with a sly refusal to tie up the loose ends. Instead, he promises his future books will fill in the gaps. But as he loses his moral compass, the island’s ingrained violence, misogyny, and homophobia will trouble readers unfamiliar with post-colonial politics and African-Caribbean culture. It’s hard to read the outdated terms ‘third world country’ and ‘mulatto’ in 2022. The influence of Jamaican patois crossed with Moore’s MBA business-speak holds us at a distinct emotional distance. If we are dedicated to equality for marginalized people, authentic voices are crucial reading. Though Untamed Passions is disquieting, it adds insight to the mountains left to climb.

Reviewed by

Jennifer Frost lives in Woodland Hills, CA with her husband & 6-year-old son. With a degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa, Jennifer has spent her life as a devoted reader & secret writer. You can find her stories in Esoterica, East of the Web, and Deracine.


About the author

Donovan A. Moore is a graduate engineer, with an MBA, born in rural Jamaica. ‘Untamed Passions’ is the first to be published of Donovan’s books, short stories, articles, and poems. He specializes in writing life issues, relationships, reflections, religious/spiritual and philosophical concepts. view profile

Published on May 05, 2022

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by