Becky Spratford's Reviews > Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
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it was amazing

Three Words That Describe This Book: Character Centered, Stylistically Complex, Heartbreakingly Beautiful.

This book was about as close to perfect as anything I have read-- at least for me. Here are some of my initial reactions: Beautiful, Gothic, multi-generational, ghosts [literal and figurative], family, history, lyrical, multiple points of view, past and present connection, strong sense of place, moving, heartbreakingly beautiful, bleak but not without hope-- the foreshadowing of future generations

Stylistically complex with storylines overlapping but from different points of view. Compelling and short for how complex it is. Also is able to put the complexity that is the history of Mississippi into a story that captures it.

I loved how this was as if Ward channeled Faulkner and put that classic American Southern Gothic into her African American perspective.

The use of supernatural elements-- ghosts who speak to us and some characters-- but they are incorporated seamlessly. You do not question they are there. It makes sense in the story and they are not there to haunt. They are there to tell their place in the story and to help characters make better decisions.

The interplay between the characters and how the different generations bring a different perspective and therefore make different choices was nuanced and thought provoking, but also, as I said above, this is not a long book. Ward does all of what I have written about with an efficiency and effectiveness that was awe inspiring. You stop to admire the language but yet, the story moves briskly. I honestly wanted to keep going with the characters. However, she did end it perfectly so that I wasn't wanting more because there was more to tell, rather, I was just sad to have to stop.

This is not a "happy" book, but it is also not devastating. There is hope.

Readalikes: I immediately thought of one of my backlist favorites-- DELICIOUS FOODS by Hannah. Here is my full review:

Also anything by Earnest Gaines or Toni Morrison- especially BELOVED.

But beyond just African American experiences, this is also a novel of place. As I said above, Mississippi and it's complicated past is a character. So other novels where the place is a character would also work-- any place. Some books I have read that fit that category and you can find links to reviews on my shelves: THERE, THERE by Orange, THE ROUND HOUSE by Erdrich, and THGE WHITE TIGER by Adiga
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Reading Progress

December 22, 2017 – Started Reading
December 22, 2017 – Shelved
January 2, 2018 – Finished Reading

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