Mother of Pearl
7 journalers for this copy...
Capturing all the rueful irony and radical ambivalence of small-town Mississippi in the late 1950's, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity and redemption. Mother of Pearl revolves around twenty eight year old Evan Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and valuable Korner, the fifteen year old white daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Both are passionately determined to discover the precious things neither experienced as children: human connection, enduring committment, and, above all, unconditional love. A startling accomplished mixture of beauty, mystery, and tragedy, Mother of Pearl marks the debut of an extraordinary literary talent.
I plan to make a bookring out of this book before I read it.
1. marcinyc, New Jersey
2. MommyMace, Washington
3. Czersk, Minnesota
4. pashmack, Florida
5. raquelsita, Wisconsin
6. beautyredefined, Wisconsin
7. and back to me in Freehold, NJ. Arrived back home on 8/11/04.
This was a unique book. It had a sort of Flowers in the Attic meets To Kill A Mockingbird type of theme about it that worked. I must say the end wasn't at all to my choosing. I think it was dragged out a bit longer than what it should of been, but other than that, it was a good book. Thanks narfinmagic for starting it, and mommymace for sending it to me.
Off to pashmack in Florida.
On to raquelsita in tomorrow's mail.
I will be sending this on to the next reader on Monday.
Once I started to get into the actual story I began to enjoy it however. The characters start to really show their personalities and you start to care for them all - Canaan's stubborn grumpiness, Valuable's tenacity, Joody's quirks. The author really creates quite the set of characters, and while they're not wholly believable, there are enough pieces of reality to let you believe.
I kept going back and forth in my feelings about the book.
Warning! Some spoilers inside!
The book seemed to grow in its intensity up until the flood. At that point it was quite exciting and I kept wanting to read more. However, the flood for me seemed like an ending to the book. There was the resolution of the drought being over, and the sense that everyone was just beginning their new lives together. Joleb had been found and rescued, and all seemed well. With Val's pregnancy in the background during that time, I found myself wondering why there was so much left in the book. Here is where it became more difficult to read again. The general flow of the book seemed to halt in its tracks.
I had really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Jackson and Val grow and evolve, and was rather disappointed when Jackson left. When he doesn't show up until the end of book again, I'm almost mad that he did come back. All the other characters were developed so much more fully by that time, Jackson seemed like an afterthought. He'd been gone too long for me to care too much about him as a character.
While I didn't really think so while reading the book, thinking back on it now there are quite a few storylines and characters. While interestingly intertwined, it's difficult to describe even a basic plot for the book, which means that it's probably too complicated. Also, while the author tries to be metaphorical, the book really didn't make me stop and ponder the deeper meanings of her text or of life. I think I just wasn't willing to put that much effort into a novel during the summer. A literature class would probably have a very different time with it and get more out of it.
This is a good book with an interesting story, but it's probably a great book if you are willing to spend the time and effort into unraveling it's vast, deep meanings. I think they must be in there somewhere.
I'm sending this home tomorrow!
Since I have not yet read this one, it's going back onto Mount TBR. With the mixed reviews on this book, I am very curious to read it for myself now. Thanks everyone for keeping this book moving and making another ring successful!