Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Full Circle with Kei Miller

Finished The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller on Sunday.  Wonderful story ... 41/2 star rating in my opinion.  This was actually a story about several variations of the same story. It was a story about storytelling. Made me sad. Made me laugh.

Loved how the story came full circle.  Original Pearline Portious gave birth in a home for lepers.  Her daughter, Adamine,  in turn gave birth in a home for the mentally disturbed.  Loved the characters.  Mother Lazarus turned out not to be a composite of the nuns who cared for the lepers in the real life leprosarium in Jamaica. She was an atheist who ironically tried to pray life into Pearline.

There were so many themes in the story: time, truth, madness, power of the spoken word, physical abuse.  Loved the theme of "time"; that  everything had a season.  The sentence, "It is time" was repeated frequently. Loved the theme of truth telling. Liked that the writer made Adamine whisper her truth to the universe, the wind, and told the universe to hush; shhhhh. Everyone had a different version of the truth but readers finally get to it in the end.  As the writer says, "In the end every story is edited, brought down to some essence...."

Some readers won't like the repetition, the constant flashbacks with the different outcomes but I loved it.  Then again I liked those movies that have flash forwards with different outcomes such as Deja Vu with Denzel Washington. Something about the twists and turns of the story reminded me of the wonderful, mystical world portrayed in Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

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