Panama Fever by W.B. Garvey
From his schoolboy days, when he was enthralled by Amy Jacques Garvey’s vivid recollections of her life with Marcus Garvey, the celebrated pan-Africanist and Jamaican National Hero, W.B. Garvey has been intrigued by his family history. When he learned upon his own father’s death that his grandfather had worked in Panama during the canal’s construction Garvey set out to uncover what turned out to be dramatic tale from history.
A compelling work of historical fiction, Panama Fever tells the story of two young men seeking their destinies against the backdrop of the titanic effort to construct the Panama Canal. Arriving together among the first shipload of recruits, Thomas and Byron become fast friends. Soon, though, they confront the catastrophes impeding progress on the canal: earthquakes, mosquito-borne diseases, political corruption, and murderous insurrection. Both men suffer overwhelming hardships – and discover love in unlikely places – but find their own paths and views of success and happiness diverging.
A thrilling adventure, crackling with action and historical detail, Panama Fever brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of the men and women who left their homes and loved ones and helped fulfill humanity’s dream for a passage through the isthmus of Panama. A monumental undertaking spanning over thirty years, the canal’s successful construction would change the world forever by joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Panama Fever, an imaginative reconstruction of a major chapter of our history, is an ode to the unsung heroes who made this long-yearned-for wish a reality, a wish for which over thirty thousand gave their lives. A profoundly human story, it will appeal to those with a taste for daring adventures and anyone who has ever felt oppressed and dared to risk it all for the dream of a better life.