Monday, March 17, 2008

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Another easy read. A little deeper than the shopaholic series, but since it's a short book I think it counts as a quickie. I read this in less than two days. Maybe 2 hours total?
This is Gibbons' first novel, and I did like it a lot, but it's quirky. It is narrated by a 10 year old girl and the language follows her (Ellen's) thoughts.

Here's an excerpt from Ellen Foster, where she is comparing her current self to her self from a few years back.

I wonder to myself am I the same girl who would not drink after Starletta (a younger girl, Ellen's only friend, and black) two years ago or eat a colored biscuit when I was starved?
It is the same girl but I am old now I know it is not the germs you cannot see that slide off her lips and on to a glass then to your white lips that will hurt you or turn you colored. What you had better worry about though is the people you know and trusted they would be like you because you were all made in the same batch. You need to look over your shoulder at the one who is in charge of holding you up and see if that is a knife he has in his hand. And it might not be a colored hand. But it is a knife.
If you let somebody tell you anything else you are a fool because what I have told you is right.
Sometimes I even think I was cut out to be colored and I got bleached and sent to the wrong bunch of folks.
When I stayed with my mama's mama I made a list of all that I wanted my family to be and I put down white and have running water.
Now it makes me ashamed to think I said that.

I don't think I've quite had thoughts like this. But I can say I've had thoughts about the family I came from and who I am because of them. All the good, and the not-so-good. Ellen overcomes her background, and learns from it.

As an extra, I've also read Divining Women (also short, also Fabulous) and A Virtuous Women (another quirky one), both by Kaye Gibbons. And she's written a bunch more--I plan to get to some of them!

No comments: