The Root Worker

5.0 3
by Rainelle Burton



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Trade Paperback GOOD Trade Paperback-9780142000854 [BURTON, RAINELLE] ROOT WORKER, THE.

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Root Worker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read all year !!! I loved it !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Think Toni Morrison or Alice Walker and you have a concept of the quality of Rainelle Burton's affecting debut novel, which is based on true life events but is not autobiographical. It is 1960s Detroit, Michigan, a hard scrabble urban community where belief in voodoo is rife - the frightened go to root workers, voodoo priestesses, trading food money for cures to banish hexes. Eleven year old Ellen is a black girl whose mentally deficient mother believes the child is possessed by an evil spirit. Her father is a lackadaisical soul who doesn't protest when the Woman or mother consults a root worker who is soon all powerful in the family. Ellen finds no protection at home from the priestess's frightening directives nor from the nuns at the Catholic school she attends. It is only through the kindness of a neighbor that the young girl may be able to escape her harrowing existence and discover a life of her own. While Ms. Burton has painted a haunting reminder of a desperate community and desolate lives, 'The Root Worker' is also a story of hope and the triumph of good over evil.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a reviewer, I was given a review copy of this amazing book by a new writer. Frank, startling, at times painful, this book is not to be missed. Told with clear knowledge of the setting, this story of an 11 year old black girl in the Detroit of the 1960's is about child abuse and yet also about love. It is about the dissociative inner life of a child who controls nothing and yet is the most powerful member of her family. It is about the strange superstitions surrounding root workers. Root working, like Voodoo, though shrouded in secrecy, continues to flourish in urban centers. Complete with amulets, spells, curses, the root worker works her con on the chronically poor, those with no hope--or only false hopes She can convince a mother her daughter is death; she can rule a family's life. A startling book, told from a child's point of view, it reads like a dream, or a nightmare. A brave new writing talent