Maxine, our protagonist, tells the tale of life in Jamaica through her child eyes. She and her older sisters Patricia and Corinne, and her baby brother Geoff are left behind in Jamaica to be raised by their grandmother, while their parents go to America to seek a better future for the family.
The story chronicles the separation of the family, and ultimately, the bonds that get broken because of the separation. Maxine takes us from a surprisingly funny, yet poignant life in Jamaica, through her reunion with her parents, and life in America.
Her stories are the stories of most immigrants, the desire for a better life leads them to America. However, America is not all it's cracked up to be, Maxine finds, and struggles to find her place in this new world.