A strange book. I spent a lot of time wondering what was happening…but I stuck with it. Liked but didn’t love it. Here is my book review The Furrows by Namwali Serpell
A Celebrated Novel
This book, much celebrated and awarded just didn’t do it for me. Sometimes it happens. My mood? My stress level? Who knows, but I struggled. But other’s have certainly found this book remarkable – New York Magazine claiming it “A triumph”.
I can certainly say it was unique. A wild ride through a families grief after the loss of a child. A mystery of sorts as you navigate an ever changing narrative of how this child died. Or did he die? Is he just missing?
At its core, this novel is about grief and the multitudes of ways people negotiate grief. Cassandra, who was the only witness to her brothers death is plagued with uncertainty through out her life, her multitude of therapists, her visions and dreams…is she mentally ill?
Her mother, neurotic and obsessive, with no body ever found, she refuses to believe Wayne is dead. Could a seven year old survive alone somewhere? Has he been kidnapped? Her unwillingness to process through the grief leaves the family torn, disembowled, breft.
Cassandra’s relationship with her parents – one who stays and focuses only the lost child and one who leaves and starts a whole new family – will be all she has for her entire life following Wayne’s death. Until she meets someone who also is searching…searching for a life without doubt.
It’s a grim story of mourning and memory, letting go and living.
Thank you for reading my book review The Furrows by Namwali Serpell.
***Three stars for The Furrows by Namwali Serpell
Read last week’s book review The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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