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Mother of Pearl

by Melinda Haynes

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1,702158,419 (3.47)24
Capturing all the rueful irony and racial ambiavalence of small-town Mississippi in the late 1950's, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity, and redemption. "Mother of Pearl" revolves around twenty-eight-year-old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the fifteen-year-old white daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Both are passionately determined to discover the precious things neither experienced as children: human connection, enduring commitment, and, above all, unconditional love. A startlingly accomplished mixture of beauty, mystery, and tradedy, "Mother of Pearl" marks the debut of an extraordinary literary talent.… (more)
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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The book started off really really slow. I almost put it down but both my mom and uncle recommended it so I powered through and glad I did . ( )
  S_Thurman | Apr 4, 2018 |
Supposedly similar to other southern writers, like Olive Ann Burns, I didn't find this book as engaging. Set in Mississippi, the story revolves around 28yo negro Even, 15yo Valuable the white daughter of the town whore, and new to town, Joody Two Sun, an odd "seer" camping outside of town. ( )
  nancynova | Jul 12, 2017 |
An introspective man, a prescient woman. Living in a true way despite the hazards of being Black in the South in the 1940's. ( )
  juniperSun | Dec 6, 2014 |
This book was such a nonstarter that every member of my book club abandoned it without finishing! Yikes! Just could not get into it at all. ( )
  eslee | Jun 16, 2012 |
I found this novel difficult to get into and a hard read overall. Mother of Pearl does offer a vivid picture of life in a small Mississippi town in the 1950s and a cast of interesting characters does propel the plot forward to a satisfying conclusion. Still, I felt the writing could have been much better and much easier to read. I was originally only going to give this book two stars, but I did like the ending enough to feel it deserved three. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Feb 22, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Maar het lot is een wel meedogenloos heerser: ontkomen kunnen noch geluk noch aanval of verweer, noch ook de zwarte, zee-bestormde schepen - Sophocles
Het geheugen gelooft voordat het weten zich herinnert. Gelooft langer dan het zich voor de geest haalt, langer dan het weten zich zelfs afvraagt - William Faulkner
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For my husband Ray, who told me stories and showed me Jackson
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Even Grade walked past the spot on the bridge where Canaan caught the bottle with his head and saw the blood mark was still there, but just barely.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Capturing all the rueful irony and racial ambiavalence of small-town Mississippi in the late 1950's, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity, and redemption. "Mother of Pearl" revolves around twenty-eight-year-old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the fifteen-year-old white daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Both are passionately determined to discover the precious things neither experienced as children: human connection, enduring commitment, and, above all, unconditional love. A startlingly accomplished mixture of beauty, mystery, and tradedy, "Mother of Pearl" marks the debut of an extraordinary literary talent.

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