Cereus Blooms at Night: A Novel [BOOKRAY]

by Shani Mootoo | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0380731991 Global Overview for this book
Registered by ArtisticAlias of Ivyland, Pennsylvania USA on 8/13/2007
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by ArtisticAlias from Ivyland, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, August 13, 2007
From the first page:

This haunting and evocative debut novel has taken the international literary world by storm. A finalist for the 1997 Giller Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Cereus Blooms at Night has established Shani Mootoo as one of today's most gifted and original new storytellers.

Set on a fictional Caribbean island in the town of Paradise, Cereus Blooms at Night unveils the mystery surrounding Mala Ramchandin and the tempestuous history of her family. At the heart of this bold and seductive novel is an alleged crime committed many years before the story opens. Mala is the reclusive old woman suspected of murder who is delivered to the Paradise Alms House after a judge finds her unfit to stand trial. When she arrives at her new home, frail and mute, she is placed in the tender care of Tyler, a vivacious male nurse, who becomes her unlikely confidante and the storyteller of Mala's extraordinary life.

From the back cover:

In luminous, sensual prose, internationally acclaimed writer Shani Mootoo combines diverse storytelling traditions to explore identity, gender, and violence in a celebration of our capacity to love.

Journal Entry 2 by ArtisticAlias from Ivyland, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, August 13, 2007
This novel has long been one of my favorites. I make it a regular practice to read debut novels, and have recently found out that this author wrote a second novel in 2005 titled, "He Drown She in the Sea." I can't wait to get my hands on it.

The story in this book is captivating and the characters are so real you could almost reach out and touch them. Your heart will take turns melting and rejoicing for the main character Mala as well as for our narrator, Tyler. I was hooked from the first page and remained glued until the end. I have given this book over to be read by every single friend and family member who might enjoy the story.

So now I am offering it as a ray to my extended family at bookcrossing. May you all enjoy it as thoroughly as I have always enjoyed it - and may it eventually find another heart to capture when it is released into the world at large.

Journal Entry 3 by ArtisticAlias from Ivyland, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, August 27, 2007
I am sending this book out today to caligula03 to start the bookray. The mailing order can be found on my bookshelf. Happy reading! :o)

Journal Entry 4 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Thursday, August 30, 2007
Book is here. I'm copying the list of participants:

caligula03 (book mailed 8/27)

Journal Entry 5 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I've been so absorbed in reading the book I completely forgot to make a journal entry when it first arrived.

Fantastic albeit somewhat disturbing book.

Journal Entry 6 by caligula03 at tenneh in n/a, n/a -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (10/16/2007 UTC) at tenneh in n/a, n/a -- Controlled Releases



Mailing to tenneh.

Journal Entry 7 by tenneh from Verdon, Nebraska USA on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Received today - will get to it asap!

I really enjoyed reading this book! I think my favorite character was Otoh! Thanks so much for letting me read it - I think I will be looking for a copy for my PC!!


going to Guinneth

Journal Entry 9 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This arrived yesterday - thanks, tenneh. I just have to finish the book I'm in the middle of and then I will get started.

Journal Entry 10 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, January 06, 2008
[First, let me apologize for taking so long with this. My reading time is limited to my boys' naps now, and with the holidays it's just been much harder than usual to carve out an opportunity to sit and enjoy a book.]

This was a strange and captivating novel, once it hooked me. I have to admit that at first I just wasn't drawn in; something about the 'voice' of the narrator put me off, I think. It seemed affected or false. As Mala's story began to unfold, though, I became eager to know what would happen next and I started to appreciate the langor and sensuality of the language. I also felt empathy for Tyler (and Otoh, in a different way) and what it must be like to struggle to figure out how you "fit." The conclusion of the novel was somewhat anticlimatic, yet still satisfying. Shani Mootoo is an interesting writer indeed.

Thank you for starting this bookray, ArtisticAlias. It's nice to finally share a book with you after all our conversations on the forums! :-)

This will be off to BooksnBeer as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 11 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, January 31, 2008
This is now on the way to BooksnBeer - mailed yesterday. Sorry for the delay!

Del. conf.# 0306 2400 0002 0785 7668

Journal Entry 12 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Received this in the mail safe and sound. I have one in front of this - but, I'll get through that pretty quick.

Look forward to this.

Journal Entry 13 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Monday, March 03, 2008
Wow – that was a griping book. I was intrigued from the very beginning and I wanted to see how the characters progressed to get to where they were when the book opens. I have found that starting the book with the ending gives away too much but, that is not the case in this book. The characters switch and there is still much discovery. I have to say, that is my definition of a good author. I have to also say, it was a disturbing book – and that is probably the author’s objective. Much gender confusion, and a lot of life wasted. The town was called Paradise??

Interesting read and another good book club book, it would generate a lot of discussion.

I will pass this along shortly.

Journal Entry 14 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This will finally be on it's way at the end of this week. After three tries this is finally going to ajmom.

Journal Entry 15 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Monday, April 07, 2008
Caught today, thank you!

Journal Entry 16 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, April 17, 2008
I found this book to be upsetting - yet also beautiful - and agree that it would make for an excellent book club book, as there is so much going on. I loved the nature descriptions - I've never heard of a cereus bloom, but can imagine its' scent...

I will PM Nell-Lu and have this on its' way asap.

Thanks for the ring, ArtisticAlias!

Journal Entry 17 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Mailed to Nell-Lu a couple of days ago!

Journal Entry 18 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, July 04, 2008
This arrived today - I'd forgotten it was on its way, so it came as a very pleasant surprise! Thanks ajsmom for sending it on and ArtisticAlias for starting the bookray. It will be next to be read.

Journal Entry 19 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, July 14, 2008
I found Cereus a very interesting read. I liked the way it was about connections - about the characters connecting, or not, with others; about the connections between the characters; about the connections between personal history (stories told by Tyler's Nana) and the history of a town; and about the connections the reader makes with the characters - made explicit by the message for Asha Ramchandin. The moment I found most heartbreaking was the discovery that the postman had broken a connection because of his judgement of others.

I have milly1401's address so will pop this in tomorrow's post.

Journal Entry 20 by milly1401 from Kelty, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, July 18, 2008
I enjoyed this evocative and haunting book, but found it very disturbing. It left me with a few visual images I could do without! having said that, it raises lots of questions over various issues of love and gender, and is well worth the read.Beautifully written

Journal Entry 21 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Monday, July 28, 2008
This arrived in the mail from Scotland today. Fascinating journal entries so far! I have a few rings & rays in the house already (as always ;-) but I will read this as soon as I can.

Thanks for sharing, AA! :-)

Journal Entry 22 by wingLeishaCamdenwing from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Thursday, September 18, 2008
I've read this book now (dates coming up :-). Sorry for taking so long! I've had way too many rings & rays in the house at once (but what else is new ;-).

This was a wonderful read. I'm so glad I got the chance to read it - thanks to AA for sharing, and major thanks to BookCrossing! :-) It never ceases to amaze me how many wonderful books one comes across because of this hobby - books one would never have gotten the chance to read, probably never heard about, that turn out to be wonderful reading experiences. This was definitely one of them. :-)

The story is quite harsh in some ways - the author doesn't hold back - I agree with previous readers in their assessment, it is a haunting and upsetting novel. Difficult to read sometimes. But I was eager to go on reading - the characters were so fascinating and I wanted so much to find out what happened to them. Even when it became clear that some stories cannot possibly end well. :-( I was so sad for Mala. Especially when the little revelation came at the end - that almost made me cry, thinking about how unfair the world can be.

The setting I found very convincing - very well described although few details are offered. One of the marks of a truly gifted writer. :-) I would love to read more books by Mootoo; this first novel of hers really moved me. It was a lovely although saddening read and I'm grateful to have taken part in the ray.

I already have iliotropio's address, so I'll just check to see if she's ready for this one :-) and then get the book in the mail very soon. Thanks again for sharing, AA, and thanks to everyone else in the ray for keeping the book moving.

Journal Entry 23 by wingLeishaCamdenwing at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, May 24, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (5/22/2009 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



This book is finally on its way to iliotropio!! I'm so sorry for holding the book up for so long. :-( Happy reading to all the future readers of this book, and thanks to AA for sharing!! :-)

Journal Entry 24 by iliotropio from Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Thank you LC for sending Cereus Blooms to Brussels! I´m sure I´ll enjoy reading them.

Journal Entry 25 by astrolila at Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
This book has certainly opened up some new worlds to me. I read it with interest and I respect the author very much for writing about topics which, at least to my knowledge, are not common. In my opinion there is room for improvement regarding Shani Mootoo's narrative technique, but the story is fascinating and not at all clichéd, the characters are real and I felt for them, even the "negative" ones, which is a great accomplishment of the author. All in all, I'm glad I read this book and I warmly recommend it.

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