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Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
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Redemption in Indigo (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Karen Lord

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2612243,716 (3.84)50
Member:Sharkell
Title:Redemption in Indigo
Authors:Karen Lord
Info:Small Beer Press (2010), Paperback, 188 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Read in 2012
Rating:**1/2
Tags:2012, Barbados

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Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
LONG ASIDE: What's the difference between a "fairy tale" and a "folktale"? (And where does "myth" fit into that?) A fairy tale obviously needn't include actual fairies (is there a single Disney movie with fairies?). I have a sneaking suspicion that we (by which I mean English speakers of European descent) tend to classify as "fairy tales" stories that reflect our own cultural background and as "folktales" those that seem exotic to us. I am therefore deliberately using the term "fairy tale" in this review; I would, however, very much like to hear if others have come to the same conclusion or analyzed the distinction more knowledgeably.

OKAY, BACK TO THE POINT: This is a charming fairy tale retelling -- of what I'm told is a Senegalese story -- with Lord's (I am now beginning to think) characteristic sense of humor and playfulness. There are no villains, only characters with conflicting motivations. The stakes are not played as particularly high (though I guess many lives are at risk?), which was both refreshing and a bit disappointing. I finished the book thinking of it as not much more than a confection, if a pleasant one.

So: if you're new to Lord, I'd recommend starting with The Best of All Possible Worlds. If you've already read that and are impatient for the next book, you probably won't be unhappy with Redemption in Indigo. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
LONG ASIDE: What's the difference between a "fairy tale" and a "folktale"? (And where does "myth" fit into that?) A fairy tale obviously needn't include actual fairies (is there a single Disney movie with fairies?). I have a sneaking suspicion that we (by which I mean English speakers of European descent) tend to classify as "fairy tales" stories that reflect our own cultural background and as "folktales" those that seem exotic to us. I am therefore deliberately using the term "fairy tale" in this review; I would, however, very much like to hear if others have come to the same conclusion or analyzed the distinction more knowledgeably.

OKAY, BACK TO THE POINT: This is a charming fairy tale retelling -- of what I'm told is a Senegalese story -- with Lord's (I am now beginning to think) characteristic sense of humor and playfulness. There are no villains, only characters with conflicting motivations. The stakes are not played as particularly high (though I guess many lives are at risk?), which was both refreshing and a bit disappointing. I finished the book thinking of it as not much more than a confection, if a pleasant one.

So: if you're new to Lord, I'd recommend starting with The Best of All Possible Worlds. If you've already read that and are impatient for the next book, you probably won't be unhappy with Redemption in Indigo. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
...Redemption in Indigo is an unusual book in many respects. There is the way the story is told, with a very present narrator and a myriad of side plots that seem to go nowhere but are somehow essential to the novel. There is the elusive strong female main character that the fantasy genre is trying so hard to find. There is African inspired setting and mythological influences that you only rarely find in English language literature. All of this and more Lord manages to put into a relatively short novel. The book is so many things that don't usually come up when people think fantasy that is should really open the reader's eyes about what is possible in fantastical literature. It is quite simply a great read. For anybody who wants more out of the genre than your typical Tolkienesque epic fantasy, this novel is a must read.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Mar 8, 2014 |
At times delightfully playful with words and descriptions, but for me the style of narrator (fairytale tale-spinner) removed any sense of real danger to the characters and lessened the emotional impact this book could have had. Still delightful, though. ( )
  StigE | Feb 22, 2014 |
This was a good book but too fanciful for my tastes. I had trouble following the many analogies and spirit figures but enjoyed the tale. ( )
  snash | Feb 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Inspired by a Senegalese folktale, Redemption in Indigo is the perfect antidote to the formula fantasies currently flooding the market. When Paama finally leaves her husband Ansige after 10 years of marriage, he follows her in an attempt to win her back. After a series of humorous, often slapstick episodes in which foolish Ansige gets himself into deeper trouble, only to be extricated by Paama, the watching djombi spirits give Paama the Chaos Stick which allows her to affect chance and probability. However, the Indigo Lord wants the stick back, kidnaps Paama, takes her on a wondrous tour and attempts to impress her with his magic. Précis fails to do justice to the novel's depth, beauty and elegant simplicity. Written from the point of view of an omniscient storyteller in the style of an oral narrative, this is a subtle, wise and playful meditation on life and fate.
 
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To the memory of my mother, Muriel Haynes Lord
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A rival of mine once complained that my stories begin awkwardly and end untidily.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A re-telling of a Senegalese folktale. Paama is presented with a gift from the undying ones: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

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Karen Lord is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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