What a beaut of a book! The cover represents the book perfectly - striking, beautiful, and raw. It’s subtle, like poetry. Several stories are intertwined - the main one about a black woman and her two children, traveling to pick up the children’s white father from jail. But along the way, they receive an unwelcome guest, who is on a journey of his own, to settle a matter with the children’s grandfather. Meanwhile, their grandmother is dying, and the woman is struggling to come to terms with all the death in her life. There’s no “happy ending” or complete resolution to these storylines. In this book, violence is a stain, visceral, physical, and rips the fabric of the universe. Places and souls are stained with this violence, the burden of memory a physical entity that is pitiful and abhorrent, and transferred down with each generation. •
I think this book shows the quandary of remembering enough to honor those who have suffered without letting it haunt us or keep their souls tied to the violence. Jojo’s sister Kayla manages to do it - can we?
🌿 You’ll like this if you enjoyed Human Acts, poetry by Jeong Ho-seung, or Homegoing.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward