Earth … a review

Earth is the debut novel of author Caroline Allen, and in it we found a connection to one of the elements. The protagonist of the story is a thirteen year old farm girl from Missouri, who has visions of turning into a tree. While on the surface, that seems to be the case, the novel is actually about what it means to be ‘different’. The family is slightly dysfunctional – the mother is aloof and detached, the older sister has run away, and the father is abusive and strict. All our protagonist Pearl has, is religion and a vague notion of growing up. There is an aunt too, who is referred to as having visions, but in true style of a mob, she is ostracized by the rest of the family.
What I liked about this book was the atmospheric scenes of the visions; it is reminiscent of Adiche, who I quite like. I liked the theme too; it is unusual in its mix of modern day with the elements of Pearl’s relation with The Osage, an ancient tribe that she feels a connection with, for their portrayal and respect of the elements. Te visions and their aftermath dealt with many emotions all of us have felt – confusion, a sense of injustice, the anger of having been different, and the fear of what this all means. Being thirteen is not easy for anyone, let alone someone struggling to find meaning in a rural farm in mid-century America. There is some sense of mystery that runs through the entire novel and as a reader, I could not quite put my finger on the cause of my sense of uneasiness.
The style of writing is slightly halting, in my opinion. Of course, it is the author’s first novel and no doubt, there is the potential for lucidity. It was just not my style. It possibly also did not help that I was down with the flu, but this made for a good in-bed read with a bowl of soup.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Earth … a review

  1. Pingback: Air … a review | BookMark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s