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Posted January 18, 2005
A Jamaican in the Cold of Chicago
This is an absorbing, honest, and very compelling novel. The story is told from the point of view, and in the colorful language, of a young Jamaican woman who works as a domestic employee for an affluent family in suburban Chicago. This scenario could easily devolve into a cast of stereotypes, but the author never falls into this trap. From south side ghetto inhabitant to presumably privileged suburbanite, the characters who populate this novel --- as well as their tragedies and triumphs --- are all believable, fully-realized, and very human. No one is reduced to simply black or white, either in the racial/cultural sense or the good vs. bad continuum. You¿ll care about everyone in this book. Read it and enjoy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2005
A captivating read
Susan Beth Miller's first novel - Indigo Rose - was a joy to read. The characters are genuine and real and the reader comes to understand that relationships formed with others can carry one through even the most trying times. Although personal loss is at the heart of the novel, the heroine's journey is one of life and rebirth. I strongly recommend it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2004
Indigo Rose Sings True
This is a beautifully written and uncommonly thoughtful story, all the more remarkable being the author¿s first published novel. The opening line prepares the reader for the journey that follows, ¿There comes a time you¿ve walked so long on a twisted path you forget what you set out looking for and are content just to find your way home.¿ The heroine (the novel¿s namesake) is a Jamaican woman who has moved to the US to support her family back home by serving as a nanny for a broken family of three daughters who are caught between an abandoning and clawing emotionally disturbed mother and a detached albeit well-meaning academic custodial father. The heart of the novel is Indigo grieving the accidental death of her young daughter by a hit and run driver back in Jamaica while trying to care for her emotionally adrift charges. As a psychologist who has worked with grief, particularly the death of a child, I was moved by the authentic voice of this bereaved mother whose bouts of rage, utter despair, and bone-numbing guilt followed not the all too common recitation of stereotyped stages of mourning but a lonely, unique path out of a wilderness. Rarely has the impact of death been brought to life in such a naked and vivid form. This is a heroine you get to know from the inside out and grow to care about deeply. She is real. While the reader also might expect a religious solution to her grief as commonly occurs in life and literature, Miller provides a very different and contemporary secular narrative. Meaningful redemption of Indigo¿s grief is found through successfully nurturing each surrogate daughter through a personal crisis which allows Indigo to repair the violated maternity within her. While the Jamaican patois often brings an eloquent poetry to the prose, in the Prologue it is more dense and difficult to follow, hopefully not discouraging the reader from appreciating the exquisitely realized and accessible story that unfolds. I cannot recommend it too highly!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.