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Cereus Blooms at Night
by Shani Mootoo | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingolagoriewing of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on 2/16/2013
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by olagorie): reserved


8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingolagoriewing from Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, February 16, 2013

7 out of 10


This a really wonderful novel, very sweet and rich of images, smells and feelings, but at the same time it tells a horrible story which made me so sad that I cried a lot reading it. I wanted to reach out for Poh-Poh and Asha and cradle them in my arms. This novel it rally worth reading, though it starts a bit slow and develops in twists and turns, but in the end the tiny different fraction can be put together to a puzzle.

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Shani Mootoo is a writer, visual artist and video maker and was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1957 to Trinidadian parents. She grew up in Trinidad and relocated at age 24 to Vancouver.

Her first full-length novel, Cereus Blooms at Night, published by Press Gang in 1996, was shortlisted for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize in 1997, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Chapters Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Set on a tropical island, Cereus Blooms and Night is written in a luminous, poetic style that evokes the duality of the Caribbean landscape, the simultaneously sublime and dangerous qualities of place.

The novel recounts the story of an old lady named Mala Ramchandin through the narrative of Tyler, a male nurse at Paradise Alms House. Cereus and other flora found throughout the novel, the creolized dialect spoken by the inhabitants of Lantanacamara, and the racial composition of its population (white people, Indians, black people) are an important factor of Caribbean society. Like the cereus flower, Mootoo’s language is rich, heady and at times overpowering, but not overwraught.

The book is filled with flash backs and with Mala's story being told in a first person narrative by Tyler, whom himself is struggling with his gender identity that mirror the transformation that Mala undergoes in reclaiming her self-image. The story is broken by time of present and past, just like a person in diaspora are torn between their present home and past home.

Secrets: Every character in the book has a skeleton in their closets: Mala's abusive and secretive childhood, Chandin's secret passion for Lavinia, Sarah and Lavinia's love affair, the mysterious disappearance of Chandin, Otoh's 'unnoticed' sex transformation...

http://kirbc.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/cereus-blooms-at-night-by-shani-mootoo/



Counts for Trinidad and Tobago.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/14/486566

The ring starts with:

1. Isfet
2. Andrasthe


 


Journal Entry 2 by wingolagoriewing at Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Monday, September 29, 2014

This book has not been rated.


Für Isfet reserviert. 


Journal Entry 3 by Isfet at Ingolstadt, Bayern Germany on Monday, October 06, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Hat mich gleich heute morgen beim Pförtner begrüßt - herzlichen Dank! 


Journal Entry 4 by Isfet at Ingolstadt, Bayern Germany on Thursday, December 25, 2014

7 out of 10

A disturbing novel and really horrible what happens to that little girl. Even as I from the first moment on had no sympathie for Chandin, I nearly can't believe that a man can do things like he did - even as I know, that things like this happen all over the world. 


Journal Entry 5 by Andrasthe at Klagenfurt, Kärnten Austria on Sunday, February 01, 2015

This book has not been rated.

A surprising book. Thought provoking and emotional, yet suspenseful and descriptive- I liked this book throughout. It touched so many different topics, such as colonialist influences and changes in native culture, family relationships, love and sex, environmental issues, religion and of course gender. This book proved a conglomerate of all these different things and still provided an engaging story or rather stories: Mala's story, Chandin's story, Tyler's and Otho's story, Ambrose's story and even a bit of Asha's story. The narration was non-linear, the characters were multi-layered and the sequences between reality and dream, past and present were artfully written.

I liked the parallel reality sequence in Mala's yard and house, when she protected and guided another version of herself, a person she once was as well as the parts about identity and gender. Mala's story, however sad and cruel, also conveys a certain harmony - a hope.

Thank you for including me.


Luckily, this book has found new readers:

US:
Aberpeter
hyphen8

NZ:
Edwardstreet
kiwiinengland

EU:
Meg72

& Back to olagorie 


Journal Entry 6 by Aberpeter at Kirkland, Washington USA on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This book has not been rated.

the book is here! i have a couple of rings I need to read before this book. It should be back on the move in a few weeks. 


Journal Entry 7 by Aberpeter at Kirkland, Washington USA on Saturday, March 14, 2015

10 out of 10

Cereus Blooms at Night is the thought-provoking, passionate story of Mala. We meet her as a troubled woman sent to a group home with an aura of controversy surrounding her. The staff and residents are all scared of her, with the exception of Tyler, who has compassion for this misunderstood woman. As her story starts to reveal itself it becomes clear she is the victim and is doing what she can to survive.

I am sure this book with be one of my most favorite books read for the year 2015. 


Journal Entry 8 by Aberpeter at Kirkland, Washington USA on Friday, March 20, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (3/20/2015 UTC) at Kirkland, Washington USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

sending to hyphen8
 


Journal Entry 9 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Thursday, April 02, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today with a traveling companion - thank you very much! (The envelope was damaged but the books appear to be fine.)

I've got a couple of books in front of it, but I'll get it read and passed on soon.

The night-blooming cereus takes its Hawaiian name from my high school, and the flower is depicted in the border of the school's logo. Here is a nice shot of the flowers in bloom (not my photo), and a black-and-white photo of the plants growing on the school wall - taken around 1900. 


Journal Entry 10 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, April 18, 2015

This book has not been rated.

A fascinating read: the story is full of terrible things, but at the same time it's hard to look away from the little girl trapped in situations not of her own making. You'd have to be very hard-hearted indeed not to root for Pohpoh and Asha..but Tyler and Otoh have their own engaging stories as well.

I particularly like the bit about Otoh's name. On the one hand, when spelled out, it seems a rather unkind nickname. But on the other hand, Otoh is at least distinctive, and perhaps preferrable to Ambrosia. ;)

I'll count this book for Trinidad & Tobago since the author is from there - it's considered part of North America for kiwiinengland's 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge


Journal Entry 11 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (4/20/2015 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book has been mailed to New Zealand to continue its travels.

BookCrossing: making the whole world a library! 


Journal Entry 12 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This book has not been rated.

just back from a quick trip overseas and was delighted to have this letter box surprise waiting for me. Thanks 


Journal Entry 13 by wingEdwardstreetwing at -- By post or by hand/ in person, RABCK , bookring/ray in Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Saturday, May 02, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (5/2/2015 UTC) at -- By post or by hand/ in person, RABCK , bookring/ray in Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Will hand over to KIE this week. Good for the 666 challenge. A story set amongst the East Indian Community on a small island in Trinidad and Tobago. Forbidden love and passions and the demise of a preacher. Sensitive portrayal of complex characters.  


Journal Entry 14 by kiwiinengland at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, May 10, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Thank you for passing this on Edwardstreet
 


Journal Entry 15 by kiwiinengland at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This book has not been rated.

A fascinating read, with lots of flawed people involved. I really enjoyed reading this book, and seeing all the differences people bring to the story.

Would a mother really ride off and leave her children, not too sure on that one. 


Journal Entry 16 by kiwiinengland at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, August 09, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (8/9/2015 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:




Off to Portugal to be read by the next in line.
If you aren't familiar with Bookcrossing, take a few minutes to check out this very cool site. Bookcrossers LOVE books, and more than anything, they love to read books and then set them free for other people to find and enjoy. I would love it if you would leave a journal entry -- you can say where you found the book or how you liked it when you read it. 


Journal Entry 17 by Meg72 at Ílhavo, Aveiro Portugal on Monday, August 24, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived safely, thank you! 


Journal Entry 18 by Meg72 at Ílhavo, Aveiro Portugal on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This book has not been rated.

What a lovely book! I didn’t quite know what to expect but, after the last page, I am really glad I read it.

In a Caribbean island a mysterious old lady is brought to a nursing home against her will. She won´t talk, she won’t eat and it is only through the patience and care of a male nurse, who lives in conflict with his desires for men, that she starts to unwind and we get to know her story, which is full of neglect, sexual abuse and heartache.

Although the theme is very sad, the author weaves a gripping tale. The characters are believable, not black and white, and you feel their pain, their sorrow, always hoping that things will work out. The author is also very good at painting the setting; the descriptions are so vivid you can smell the flowers bloom in contrast with the decay of a neglected home. Very good!
 


Journal Entry 19 by Meg72 at Ílhavo, Aveiro Portugal on Sunday, October 11, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (10/11/2015 UTC) at Ílhavo, Aveiro Portugal

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Going back home, to olagorie! 


Journal Entry 20 by wingolagoriewing at Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Thursday, October 22, 2015

This book has not been rated.


The book is back in Germany.

Thanks to all the participants of this ring!
 


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