I've been having a hard time writing these days -- I get into periodic funks, and if I allow myself to blog, only self-pitying sludge comes out. And so I take breaks. The private journal is a better place for such wallowing, especially since my wallowing isn't especially entertaining.
What I did want to write about, as soon as I read it was light-skinned-ed girl, by Heidi W. Durrow. I let a bit more time go by than I wanted before I posted about it, but I've got two little excuses sleeping downstairs as I type.
Heidi's got a blog by the same name, which I've got linked on my sidebar under Listen. I've always enjoyed reading her blog and discovered that the title was also a novel. Excerpts have been printed as a mini-novel -- she wants, of course, to get the whole thing published, and I desperately hope she does, too.
I'm not going to give too much away, because I hope you'll buy it, like I did, to help her on her way to getting it published. But I will tell you that it's based on a newspaper article she read years ago about the awful suicide/murder of an entire family, with one survivor -- the light-skinned-ed girl of the title. Durrow took the news story and fleshed it into an incredible tale of not only being the sole survivor of the tragedy, but also of being biracial. The heroine feels pulled in two different directions -- between her mother's white, Danish roots and her father's African-American family -- but doesn't feel as if she belongs with either one.
One part especially stuck with me. It was when Rachel (lsg), goes to live with her paternal grandmother and aunt, and feels she cannot use the Danish words she did with her mother and brother: "I feel my middle fill up with sounds that no one else understands. Then they reach my throat... What if these sounds get stuck in me? What if I am filled with sounds that will never get used up?..."
I read it early on this spring, right when our boys came to live with us. It made me think of how H. might feel, with his Kembategna words coursing through his head, getting caught up in his throat as he tried to communicate with us in English. All those sounds which are slowly drifting off into his subconscious, I imagine. Or getting stuck, as Rachel describes.
I recommend going over to Heidi's blog and giving it a look-see, then checking out light-skinned-ed girl, the mini-book. You can find it when you visit Heidi's author site. It left me wanting more, and I so hope she's able to get it published.
I also hope my mini-review does her writing, and Heidi, justice.