Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hick-sick and other phrases

Mountains of the Moon is a masterfully written debut by new author I.J. Kay. The novel tells the story of a woman in her thirties newly released from prison after 10 years. We are introduced first to the ex-convict, Louise, but we are transported through time to when she was Lulu and Kim and Beverly and Jackie and Catherine. Many readers’ reviews have complained that the unnoted shifts in time are difficult to follow, but Kay uses the main character’s speech to clue the reader in to her age. The flashbacks provide the reader with background for the life that resulted in imprisonment and a subsequent pilgrimage to Africa that allows Louise to move forward after 30 years of being lost in a continual cycle of neglect and misunderstanding. Amidst the heartache of her childhood and the perilous entanglements of her teens and early twenties, you will find horrific pain, extreme beauty, and some humor to tie it all together.  

To me, this debut is one of the best I’ve read…ever. To be completely cliché, the book details the strength and endurance of the human spirit. However, like many people in these situations, Lulu only looks forward and keeps moving. Assuming you and Lulu have little in common, this book will make you thankful for the life you have.

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