Sing, Unburied, Sing- Jesmyn Ward
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
I'm not one to judge a book by its cover and but I could not help but fall in love with this book cover y'all...it really reaches into your gut and pulls you in and begs to be read, begs to be heard and demands you to listen. What a cover. Kudos!
Sing, Unburied, Sing is a novel about a portrait and dynamics of a family based in Mississippi. Leonie is a young mother struggling to cope with raising two young children Jojo a young teenager & Michaela an adorable toddler. Leonie struggles with the aches and pains of life, she is in constant battle with herself and is a drug user and pays more attention to herself and her boyfriend than she does to her own children. Jojo is 13, young but also on the cusp of being a man, he's at the tender age where he begins to see life's hurdles and struggles and comes to know what it means to be a man, learning everything he can from his wise grandfather (Pops). This book is about life and death, love, life's struggles, fathers and sons, and the dynamics of a dysfunctional family living in turbulent times. The father of the children, Michael, is white and the mother Leonie, is black. I mean, you can only imagine how hard it would be for them in rural 21st century American time. Back in the day when racism was very much alive. (Not that it's not now! But y'know what I mean.)
It's a raw, and tender book. It even plays a lot on spirituality and ghosts of the deceased which definitely took me by surprise. It is done very well, the almost poetic language used is so amazing. It's lyrical and very vivid in descriptions throughout the whole book. I really didn't want to put it down, especially towards the end. After reading this I found myself thinking about the family and hoping they would be okay...it totally sticks to your gut this book. It's not one those where you close the book and boom, chapter done, life goes on. Nope, your sort of left there wondering how they're getting on and that life for this family still goes on and will not be easy ride. It's pretty heartbreaking but also very beautiful. I loved the character developments too, and how each chapter told the story from the different character's points of views. I liked that element a lot because you could really get to know each character well and where they were coming from. I also loved the southern African American language too you get from these types of books.
You've gotta read it for yourself, it took me a while to read this book because I found myself having to digest some chapters and think on it as it's definitely not a light read. It's a short book but packs a punch. Written amazingly well, and makes me want to read more of Jesmyn Ward's books. The only criticism about the book was the ghosts actually, I really wasn't expecting that aspect to play such a strong role in the story. Part of me found it hard to believe the book in a way, but that being said, it brought the book together so I'm totally torn on that issue. Pretty great book though if your into spirituality and ghosts. Which i'm kind of into! Ha.
But with that said, I pretty much loved it, hence my high rating!
A big thanks & shout out to Nicole, my fellow book worm for lending me this beautiful book.
Jesmyn Ward was short listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2018 and also won the National Book Award for Fiction. So y'know it's gonna be a good read! Very well respected and powerful writer.