31 July 2008

Father Lands, Emily Ballou

This is a bizarre book. Bizarre. The beginning of each chapter has a single page (or less) description of a man's thoughts or actions. The chapters themselves are essentially about two children. One a white girl, one a black boy both about 8 or 9 years old. Towards the end of the book you work out how the opening sections fit with the main story.

The main story doesn't seem to have any real plot; it nevers really reaches any solid conclusion or resolution. The sub-story; those opening pages of each chapter; have a much more solid plot and conclusion.

Cherry, the white girl, and her younger sister are sent to a new school by their parents. Its the era of intergration and the girls start attending a mainly black school. Cherry meets Hugo, the black boy, and they gradually form a friendship. Hugo comes from a single parent family, his father having walked out years ago. Cherry's parents split up during the course of the book.

There's really not a lot else to say. Its hard to give away the ending of the book, because there isn't one. Its one of those books that every now and then make you think "did I finish it?" I did finish it, and I can't say I'll be trying this author again. Only a 2 for this one.

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