Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
An effortless, magic and stunning read
on 27 January 2005
Wow...what can I say about this book? It's something that is no doubt different, beautiful and wonderfully written. It is one of those Caribbean literature books that connects everything so effortlessly that it is quite easy to become so indulgent to its content. Although some scenes within the book are undoubtedly shocking, there are also the scenes that portray a new dimension of nature, making this an almost realist text.
The book tells the story of an elderly lady, Mala, who has becomes traumatised by her life, to a point of muteness. The story then unfolds into the telling of this history, leaving nothing out, including the beautiful Cereus plant. As the story unravels, the author is moved by the tragedy Mala has experienced, her lost romance and beauty, and finally, the loss of her childhood, signified by her name Poh-Poh. The only fault, to me, of the book is that sometimes it becomes hard to distinguish between Poh-Poh and Mala, but that becomes the essential point of the story: it makes you think of childhood as a ghost of the past that Mala has not forgotten.
With some of the most beautiful imagery, and a fantastically woven narrative, Mootoo no doubt possesses skill that is superior to many writers of Caribbean literature. To me, she is a totally understated writer of our time.