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Sorrowland: A Novel Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Karen Chilton is a multi-talented author, actor, and audiobook narrator, as well as a freelance writer, script writer, and librettist. She wrote the biography Hazel Scott about the trailblazing jazz pianist and coauthored I Wish You Love with legendary jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne. Her acting credits include It's Kind of a Funny Story and Half Nelson. She won a New Professional Theatre Writers award for her play Convergence and an Audiofile Golden Earphones Award for her narration of Karolyn Smardz Frost's I've Got a Home in Glory Land. She has also narrated Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Jennifer Berry Hawes' Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B08FGV6LB2
- Publisher : MCD (May 4, 2021)
- Publication date : May 4, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2402 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 325 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #69,128 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I love Howling and Feral. They are not the product of what has been torturing and fabricating Vern; they are the result of Vern's love for them, even when it doesn't make much sense to be and do so. Gogo simply will not quit, no matter how hard Vern pushes her away. Together they inhabit a world almost impossible to hold in my mind but totally at home in my heart.
Rivers Solomon deals with the big issues—racism at its most pernicious, power at its most corrupt, hatred at its most brutal—and they do it within the person of Vern. It's a big story put on the page in the most intimate way.
I'm going to let it sit for a bit then read it again. I was scared of what might happen but, next time through I will just let myself inhabit—the woods, the wild, the physical, the joy.
Fifteen and pregnant, Vern runs away from everything she knows. The abusive husband and cult that she is fleeing hunts her down in the nearby woods, but she evades them. Meanwhile, Vern gives birth to twins while learning to live off the land by trial and error. She feels empowered by her freedom. Her body is much stronger. But the headaches and “hauntings” continue unabated even far away from the cult’s reach. Eventually, Vern and her two children emerge from the woods. Luckily, Vern doesn’t have an inkling of what is in store for them.
The first half of Sorrowland is a compelling and completely different read. It feels like a science-fiction/fantasy fable. And then, screech!!!, it takes a crazy left turn into what I can only describe as “popular entertainment” to avoid spoilers. I felt the foreshadowing of the plot turn but hoped I was wrong. How can such a unique book can’t end in such a stereotypical way? But it did. I wish I had stopped reading at around 60%. For these reasons, I can only rate the book as 3 stars. 5 for the beginning and 1 for the ending averaged together.
Thanks to MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
What a wild ride!
When I see that a book is on all of the "to-read" lists, I'm naturally optimistic but always cautiously so. No need for caution here.
_Sorrowland_ is a dash of _Mexican Gothic_, another dash of _The Twelve_, and then just a whole bunch of madness that comes together in a really fascinating and remarkably readable way. I didn't want it to stop. I mean, for the CHARACTERS, I wanted it to stop, but wow. Truly, I couldn't get enough.
Vern, the m.c., is very much why this novel worked so well for me. She is a riveting inclusion not only to this piece but to literature in general. Like most of the characters here, she is intersectionally impacted by her extremely diverse identities, and it is fascinating to see her triumph over what seem like barriers only to transform them into incredible strengths...sometimes. Her children - are these the best named children in all of literature? - enhance her dual nature as a soft and effective mother and a powerful force of strength. Gogo is an absolute highlight, and her inclusion here - especially considering the various identities she possesses - also enhances Vern's story, but gives her a respectful place of her own. And then there are the characters who are and are not there: next level.
Along with the riveting characters, the sense of place, the treatment of institutional racism, the exploration of identities, the portrayals of sex/gender expression/sexuality, and the general flow of the plot all absolutely worked for me. I also love the genre mashup. It never felt gimmicky to me, and there was a strong potential for that to be the case. HIGHLY recommended.