Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.
Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.
These sentences reflect the beauty and lyricism of the narrative of this novel. This story takes the reader on a journey away from the idealized and stereotyped afro American woman. Somehow, and in spite of the afro – American dialect in which much of the book is written the way in which our central character Janie grows, develops and reflects upon life as a whole person, as a woman has much that spoke to me regardless of skin colour and roots.
Speaking personally some of the dialect was at times tough going. Such was the power of the writing, the life of Janie, that the challenge of the dialect was no longer so! In essence we follow Janie as she journeys from a sixteen year old to a mature woman. Her awakening is likened to her experience of her watching singing bees on a pear tree.
‘Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with her life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her?’
A thought provoking story – worthy of four stars. Do be sure to read an edition that contains an introduction by Holly Eley and the afterword by Sherley Anne Williams.