Marsia's Reviews > Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: from-the-south
Recommended to Marsia by: Oprah Winfrey
Recommended for: readers who like stories set in the 1950s &/or in the South; those who like first novels

Grrrrr! I started a new virtual bookshelf for this book and must say I truly despise the way the Goodreads program automatically changed--incorrectly and for the worse--what I typed in the blank. There is no reason whatever for our book categories to be automatically hyphenated, nor for changing all capital letters to lowercase. For example, I put a capital "S" in the word "South" in this category for good reason; the South in the United States is always capitalized to distinguish it as a region of the country (as are the North, the West, and the East) rather than merely a direction on a compass.

But anyhow: I didn't think Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes was the best first novel I've ever read, but I must say it kept me reading to the very end, and I have no regrets for having spent time on this book. I liked it. Haynes clearly has a gift for creating characters (with unusual names) who live and breathe on the page and are not easily forgotten. Perhaps it is her experience as a painter that has honed her skill for observation. In her writing it appears as a talent for describing people and places in a way that never left me bored or impatient. Her descriptions flow as naturally and gracefully as the river that plays a role in her story. With her keen eye for details and her literary originality, Haynes is a novelist whose work I will look for in the future.

Note: Because of its setting--a small town in Mississippi in the 1950s--and because of its remarkable African American characters, Mother of Pearl might be an interesting selection to read in tandem with Kathryn Stockett's The Help for comparison and contrast.

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Reading Progress

November 29, 2009 – Shelved
December 1, 2009 –
page 115
25.84% "I'm enjoying the book so far."
December 4, 2009 –
page 258
Started Reading
December 9, 2009 – Finished Reading
December 11, 2009 – Shelved as: from-the-south

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