Mother of Pearl
Capturing all the rueful irony and racial ambivalence of small-town Mississippi in the late 1950s, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity, and redemption. Mother of Pearl revolves around twenty-eight-year-old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the fifteen-year-old white daughter of the to...more
I read this book many years ago, after seeing a review on it. I’ll admit I read this book because the majority of reviews said it was hard to get into. I saw that it was on Oprah’s Book Club and honestly I jumped for it. It had been a year since I had actually read a book, and I missed it. I probably shouldn’t have picked suck a polarizing book but what can I say, I enjoy a challenge.
That being said, at first I struggled with the first few chapters. I enjoy readi...more
I've lived in the South all of my life and I thought many of the characters reminded...more
The many complicated relationships were all compelling and hard to watch develop at times.
The losses were painful and felt so like life. Most of the characters became so dear and well-defined. For instance, I NEVER thought I would warm to Louise or Neva, but did in the end, due to understanding them bette...more
I must agree with many of the previous reviews. Haynes pulls no punches and launches her first book with a broad menagerie of characters from all walks of life during the 1950s. Unique characters with an "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" feel to it.
The tragedy and triumph of the novel's characters may be too expected, but the effort and excellence of Haynes' skills as an author are obvious.
The cast of characters is large, and at first seem rather random, but are connected nicely as the story goes on.
The book is really slow at first as well.....but it intrigued me...more
I felt so awful for the majority of the characters and the issues they were dealing with (don't want to give anything away till Katie reads it!) I loved Valuable and...more
The story and characters were well-crafted, I'll grant that much - but the book gave off the distinct vibe of an author that was trying too hard for a literary masterpiece. So much was overdone: too many characters with involved story-lines, too much sexuality and crass language, too much abstract literary and poetic allusion, too much.
And yet the really big moments - the emotional pivots and climax of the book - are understated, like the author is trying to t...more
This story is about a white girl named Valuble Korner, a black man named Even Grade. This is a story about Love, morals, and tough choices. I highly recommend this book. A word of advice, this book tends to get very graphic...more
I read this book with a friend and had a blast. I loved this book because it was very literary... full of symbols, motifs, allusions, and figurative language that allows the reader to explore many levels of interpretation. Definitely a book...more
The biggest challenge is the writing style. I often had to read sentences more than once in order to figure out what it was trying to say. Part of it was strange se...more
From the Chicago Tribune: "Remarkable." From The Plain Dealer in Cleveland: "Haynes is the real thing, a true artist, a genuine writer, and in this book, at least, a genius....MOTHER OF PEARL transports us to the wilds of a different world." From Publishers Weekly: "In prose both rugged and beautiful, Haynes plumbs the secr...more
The writing is wonderful however, and though it took me until somewhere around page 180, I wanted to know how the story would end. What each persons, or couples, outcome would be.
The ending was one that made me feel sad, and unsettled. So many unhappy people and such an unhappy time and place.
Spoiler to follow:
Though I was content, if...more