Saturday, April 21, 2012

Decorations In a Ruined Cemetery, John Gregory Brown

The day we left my stepmother, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway collapsed, and the new life my father had imagined, spiriting his children back to his childhood home, fell away from us as quickly as that bridge, the whole world thrown off-balance like a gyroscope hammered into the wrong shape, the lkae coughing up our family's secrets in the form of an old bent-backed black servant.

This story tells of the Eagens, a New Orleans family of "mixed blood." There are three narrators in the story: Meredith, whose father takes her and her brother away from her stepmother, Catherine, the stepmother, who writes letters to Meredith, and Murphy Warrington, an old black man who worked for the family. The narrators recall "a story that unlocks its secrets like a Chinese box, each hidden compartment opening to reveal yet another, until, at the end, we stand aghast at the complexity of what lies before us" (Richmond Times-Dispatch.)

The book started out really slowly, and I thought it was going to be so boring, but it did managed to pick itself up after about 30 pages or so. I enjoyed the different narrations too, and the story that unfolded. However, the book just had an okay ending. So it started out slowly, picked up, and then fizzled at the very end (about the last 10 pages or so.)

Read Decorations In a Ruined Cemetery:
  • if you are interested in books set in New Orleans or the South in general
  • if you like books focusing one family and their secrets
244 pages.

Okay book, but it left me wanting more!

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