In this novel, by first time author, Devorah Major, we are told a story of three generations of women; A grandmother, Ernestine - hasn’t finished a single piece of cloth since her son died, is a blind yet exceptional weaver with strong beliefs and an ability to feel colours.
Ernestine’s epileptic daughter Iree, has seizures that make her a spiritual time traveler and medium.
Iree has a daughter, Imani, who in one scene as a 5 year old is found capturing sun rays in glass jars. Imani has an impeccable ability to understand the human condition and has a way of knowing a person’s inner most secrets without having to ask.
The story, traversing past and present in one day - starting and ending dramatically, begins on Imani’s 17th birthday and with her no-where to be found.
It is revealed to us that she is with her close friend Amanda, a head strong girl, whom we discover is pregnant and is suffering from all-day morning sickness. Imani provides comfort and attempts to cheer her up as they journey through the streets and various places around their hometown while they examine the options open to them.
Amanda, a foster child whose mother abandoned her and whose father refuses her acquaintance although he lives in a street nearby, is fraught with knotted thoughts.
At the party while the family and visiting extended family wait for Imani’s return they share stories from the past in rich cultural dialogue and Iree deals with the added worry of the unknown whereabouts of the essential deed to Ernestine’s house –unknown, that is, save to her brother Ezekiel, who died before he could get it to them.
This novel is skilfully put together and is written in a style that is poetic, full of emotion, rich language and imagery – this is tell-tale of the author being a poet (any many other artful things) perhaps.
It has 182 pages and was published in September, 18, 1995 under the 13 digit ISBN 9781878067661 (or the 10 digit 1878067664) and is a must read for the intellectually intuitive.
My déjà vu sense tingled frantically while writing this...