Courtney R. Rehkamp's Reviews > Ceremony

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
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Jan 04, 2012

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Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko is a novel that strives to make understood the complexities of life in a culture that has little exposure in the common literature circuit. In this book Tayo, a young man of mixed heritage, returns from world war two with a broken mind and spirit. Returning home from a war veteran hospital he struggles to make sense of the world around him in which he cannot find his own part. In the war the Laguna soldiers were treated as equals but upon return are once again denoted to the position of a second class citizen as he struggles to come to terms with his own problems he observes the actions of others as they cope with their return. This book focuses on the struggle of Tayo and others to reconcile their own culture and heritage with that of the white people who surround them.
The novel is beautifully written, a combination of regular writing with the rhythmic flow of poetic inserts. The concept is interesting and widely unexplored by the vast majority of authors. However, while some will enjoy this book for precisely those reasons it is not the right book for every particularly for those who have issues ordering a sequence of events as the book jumps back and forth from past to present. Additionally there are no chapter markers with which to measure the flow of events and the jumpy nature of perspectives require attentive reading with good mental processing to fully grasp the story.

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