Customer Reviews for

Mother of Pearl

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Extraordinary!

I started reading this book expecting to put it down after a few chapters and never touch it again. The description on the back of the book didn't really appeal to me. Twenty pages into it and I was hooked. This author is highly talented. She gave so much depth to the c...
I started reading this book expecting to put it down after a few chapters and never touch it again. The description on the back of the book didn't really appeal to me. Twenty pages into it and I was hooked. This author is highly talented. She gave so much depth to the characters and she intricately wove the story of their lives together. This book has spirit and excitement unlike any other book I've ever read.

posted by Anonymous on September 23, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

50/50

This book was recommended to me by my sister so I read it. I like the ending, but the rest is very wierd. There were several times when I put it down because I was frustrated at the wierdness. I just don't think some of the things that the characters do are realistic...
This book was recommended to me by my sister so I read it. I like the ending, but the rest is very wierd. There were several times when I put it down because I was frustrated at the wierdness. I just don't think some of the things that the characters do are realistic. I did finish it and like I said the end is very touching.

posted by kellisat on January 17, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 36 of 36 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2001

    an ok read

    There is nothing new about recycled character types and plots; it is a time honored device. Authors borrow shamelessly and we often love the old favorites, so that may be easily forgiven. Hurston blazed the trail long ago that Mother of Pearl wanders down. However, Zora Neale was fine wine and this is everyday chablis. Haynes' technique of creating dark, convoluted and suspenseful foreshadowing leading nowhere left this reader hard pressed to care when something finally did pan out. Besides the anti-climatic foreshadowing, the flow of the story was also interrupted by a plethora of made-up, nonsensical and often inane metaphors and similes. 'Canaan's school of thought is different now, settled to the forefront of his reasoning like bottle-birthed blood' p. 309. WHAT??? Aside from the fact that I have always thought that one could ascribe to a school of thought or contribute to one, but didn't know one could have a school all to oneself, what on earth is 'bottle-birthed'? Birthed from a bottle? This leads us to the characters who seem not to have been birthed at all, but rather like paper dolls. The black characters, while more fleshed out than the white are also somewhat stereotyped - mystical, super-sexed,earthy wise (in contrast to the inbred whites) and even visionary. Unfortunately, that sixth sense, while hammered at repeatedly, takes a vacation at a very inopportune time. All this said, I persevered and did find the book mildly entertaining, but much less so than the hype.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Southern Fiction

    An intelligent book, but way, way too long. I do love long, interesting books that you want to stay with the characters after the book ends. But this book is not good enough. It drags in most places. I liked the characters, the writing was good, but the plot just wasn't exciting enough to sustain you for the length of the book. A miss for Oprah's book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2000

    An Excellent & Deep, Thought Provoking Novel

    An excellent book, very touching and realistic. Haynes does a wonderful job yet again. However, I feel that the younger aduience should not read this book. It's content is more for adults. But truly a wonderfully written novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    Good Book!

    After getting to know all the charactors this turned out to be a great book! Always something going on, just the kind of book I love to read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Southern Mother of Pearl

    Melinda Haynes has written a long Southern poem in prose form. Even the name of the town, 'Petal' is both poetic and symbolic. If the town is the center of the flower, then the characters are the petals, each reaching for some sunshine and beautiful in their individuality. I put off reading this book as long as I could because it was recommended by Oprah. (No offense, Oprah, but you seem to enjoy depressing books.) Anyway, once I picked it up, I was entranced by the language. Some readers may find the colloquialisms and dialogue hard to follow, but if you've ever been down south, you'll find yourself transported to hot August nights where the echoes of conversation float through the air with the fireflies. Besides the language, the subject matter is interesting. At first, I wasn't sure why the main focus was on the children but I guess that's because adults forget that everything they do affects children. The two main characters bloom in this small town much like Stephen Crane's 'Maggie' 'blossomed in a mud puddle.' Instead of city streets, they roam the dirt roads and creeks of the small town south. An excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2000

    Book of the Decade!

    This book is wonderful. The writing, the style, the plot, everything was extravagant. It was a book that made you feel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2000

    A distinctive story, uniquely told

    I haven't read any of Oprah's recommended books, except this one. The title stuck in my mind until I finally gave in. Usually a King fan/reader this was not a 'normal' read for me. It was a little difficult in the beginning because the style of writing is so different and unique. However, once I started, I couldn't stop. This book is imaginative and addicting if you enjoy life-like drama and humor. A roller coaster of emotions is explored, yet somehow manages not to be draining like many other emotional tales. I have, and will, continue to recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2000

    haynes writes beautifully of true family

    Melinda Haynes writes about true family. Her language is so moving and powerful. It encourages you to value your family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2000

    Authentic language and characters cross the 50s color divide

    The language and characters of this book awed me. How could a first time novelist, apparently a white woman, write so compellingly in the inner voices of an old and young black man, a mysterious black woman, along with a cast of compelling white characters as well? She does it. This book made me glad to be alive, glad to be able to read, glad to have stumbled onto an author whose characters unfold lovingly, rich with both goodness and strangeness, just like real people. A lot happens, but its strength it not plot. Its strength is language, first, and then compelling characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    Mesmerized!!!!!!!!

    The language was awkward initially, as if I were learning something new. This passed very quickly and as I became enamoured with the town and people of Petal, I was reminded by the way that the written word,when sculpted so beautifully, can become a cohesion between the internal canvas the reader posesses and the author's vision. Characterization is incredible. The plot lines do stretch at times, but the language of this book is pure music. Similar to the first time I heard a Robert Johnson blues riff, a feeling of being educated in a new way to look at the world and its' underlying naked beauty. The author has created a captivating work. She will go far. I look forward to more of her future work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

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    Posted December 15, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

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