Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward // Book Review 2017


"I like to think I know what death is. I like to think that it's something I could look at straight."


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward // One night last week, I arrived home from a tiring, busy day at work. The sky had gone dark, it was freezing cold and I couldn't wait to jump into my pyjamas and sit beside a warm , cozy fire. As I opened my front door, I was met with a surprise parcel. I knew I hadn't ordered anything online and I was sure I wasn't waiting on any delivery, but there was this small, compact package waiting at my doorstep. I picked it up and opened immediately, and it was as if Christmas morning had come early. To my absolute surprise, it was a copy of Jesmyn Ward's stunning new book, 'Sing, Unburied, Sing'. Accompanying the book was an assortment of trinkets and feathers, which I didn't initially understand. Turns out, these are our protagonist's good luck charms and feature quite prominently in the book. 

'Sing, Unburied, Sing' follows a dysfunctional family who live on a farm in Mississippi (who doesn't love a messy, complex family drama?! haha!), but there is more to this book that meets the eye - it's also a dark, hauntingly beautiful story about ghosts. We initially meet 13 year old Jojo who lives with his grandparents, Pop and Mama, his two year old sister Kayla and his mother Leonie, who is suffering from drug addiction and struggles to look after her children - hence why they live with their grandparents. Jojo and Kayla's father, Michael, is in prison but is soon to be released. We follow Jojo and his family as they take a turbulent, scary road trip across America to collect their father. A ghost called Richie tags along and tells his story, looking for answers...


'Sing, Unburied, Sing' by Jesmyn Ward, available from Bloomsbury Publishing

Now, I obviously don't want to reveal or say too much, and I've been sat for five minutes trying to figure out how I would describe this book to you all... Hmmm, well it's powerful, poetic but painful. This is not always an easy read  - the book addresses some hard hitting themes such as racism, poverty, abuse and prejudice. It's a raw book and makes the reader feel uncomfortable at times - but that's exactly what makes it all the more engaging - I keep turning each page, after page, after page, eager to find out how the characters cope, as they embark upon their eventful journey... 

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves a literary challenge. And, whilst I know you should never judge a book by it's cover, this one is particularly striking! As it's nearing Christmas time, this book would make the perfect stocking filler for any bookworm... Have you heard of this book before? Will you be adding it to your Xmas list? Let me know in the comments below!

More soon,

Helen
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Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it! Helen x

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