Reviews for Missing The Cues

Annette Isaac’s memoir: ‘Missing the cues – tales of a new comer’s life in Canada’ is light and pleasant reading. The novella depicts the experiences of a young migrant girl from rural Trinidad, whose integration into the Canadian cultural space is facilitated and supported by family members, themselves having studied and established their lives in urban Canada long before her. She fits the demographic of applicants most likely to succeed through her education and family support.

‘Cues’ are cleverly referenced throughout the book as symbols to be interpreted from hidden forms of communication, whether social or political. She reflects on the historical and political context of the era of her migration and assimilation into the new culture. Social barriers are openly and honestly discussed, as are the valuable opportunities and changing government policies that aid the new comer who is willing to work hard and to establish lasting social networks.

It is enlightening to follow young Annette as her own sense of identity develops from a young conformist who straightened her hair to attend her visa interview, through the culture shock of her father’s burial, and, at last, to trail blazing as the only Black woman instructing at a postgraduate level at the university.

A fresh perspective, sprinkled with humour and reflective of extensive research, Annette’s work shows how the migrant impacts the dominant culture and shapes the politics and local culture. The books lends itself to the next generation as a guide and a network source that she herself benefitted from to succeed as a migrant in Canada.  – Ann Second. MBA, MFA, Dip Ed., BA. Tobago

I highly recommend the book, Missing the Cues: Tales of a Newcomer’s Life in Canada. Author Professor Annette Isaac has successfully managed to weave her decades of personal, professional and academic experiences into a how-to, not just for the newly-arrived in Canada but for anyone who is transitioning into a new space, geographical or otherwise.  Throughout the book, the author’s purpose is clear when she encourages her readers to not miss the cues, to tune in to clues that would make acclimatizing in their new environment easier.

The book is arranged into four chapters and each one treats with a particular facet of life: the social, the political, employment and education.  Each chapter has subsections that present cutting, real discussion with examples one can relate to.  There are the cues related to the spoken accent and its impact in social situations and at work.  She chronicles about the Affirmative Action, its unwritten code and effect on some.  And she proves her realness when she admits she has no cues for Mixed relationships.  Fortunately, the author maintains a clear, simple writing style which allows for quick, easy reading which will appeal to readers searching for ready information as they attempt to unlock “the doors to the full potential of the good times” they seek.

This book is a veritable trove of tips.  It is a memoir that records personal recollections but also points readers to the route necessary to avoid unnecessary frustration and delays in establishing their new life abroad.  It is impressive that the author can share on these cues without regret. I truly enjoyed the historical references and that it is the story of so many persons that I know.

I do intend to share with my own daughter who is about to complete her undergraduate studies.  Although the sub-title calls to the newly landed in Canada, the information is relevant to so many others at so many crossroads.  That need to know the language of the new space is so important and that glass ceilings exist to be broken.  Well done Ms. Annette Isaac! – Suzette James Stewart, Tobago

“This book is extremely well-written, eloquent, practical and educational. Any newcomer, and children of newcomers, could greatly profit from reading this book. It also made me reflect on my own experiences as the child of newcomers of colour who themselves came to Canada seeking better opportunities.” – Nicole Ng Yuen, MA, LLB Cambridge

“(the book) is insightful, passionate and moves quickly across geography, time and key issues…” – Edward Jackson, President, E.T. Jackson and Associates

“The nice balance you have struck between personal experience and broader social observation is a very effective, productive one that I think readers will respond to.” – Sarah Phillips Casteel, Professor, Department of English and Institute of African Studies, Carleton University

“This well-written book could be an educational tool for all Canadians. It also offers an interesting perspective on our society.” – Jean-Marc Charron, Ottawa

“I like your easy style of writing especially as well as the way the book is personalized with your own experience. At the same time it is highly informative and will surely be helpful for any person who is new to this country.” – Patricia Boston, Vancouver

“Annette Isaac has written a short, penetrating look into the life of a newcomer to Canada.  The book is an insightful, poignant view, not only of the newcomer’s experience, but also of Canadian society.” – Yolanda Banks, Ottawa

“As a recent newcomer to Canada, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Annette’s book. I found her writing sincere and applicable as she shares her personal stories and the unique insights she has gained since arriving in Canada over four decades ago. Because of the way she carefully explains the different cues and her experiences with them, I highly recommend her book to all newcomers to Canada seeking to enrich their integration experience.” – Folake Oluokun, Ottawa