Monday, February 10, 2014

Redemption in Indigo: A Book Report

As a recently mutated milk-drinking portion of humanity known as caucasian, I've noted that, on really drab, wet, grey, overcast, awful days, possibly with a heavy mist or light rain, I am in the best of moods. Can this be because I come from the northern region of the planet? Is this some kind of "race memory" thing? (I should note, you know, that I really am a Northern Barbarian, have the genetic test results to back it up, at least on the exclusively paternal branch... and the family records show great-grandpa emigrated from Prussia. And that region enjoys a northern maritime climate, a moderate blend of warm summers and mild cloudy winters).

Or am I just suited by personality to this type of day? Or is there something else?

I not only enjoy these kinds of grey, drab days, I actually thrive on them. Sunny days, yes, awesome, but as a highlight, a diversion, as dessert but not as regular fare. But I've also noticed it's a early spring/late fall mood. There's got to be a cheery spot of green someplace around in the picture to evoke this mood, and so I wonder if it's just a fond memory of childhood?

Some positive reinforcement happened that spiked this visual memory with a good mood?  I think it might be that. And if it is that, I think I have to chalk to Ursula K. Le Guin's book A Wizard of Earthsea. I'm pretty sure it was early spring when I read that book, and the notion stuck in my head that the protagonist's home enjoyed a northern maritime climate. So, there was the evocation of that world, but also the characters who were, mostly likeable, but mainly real. Maybe the first characters that I as a Young Adult, had first encountered.

Inspired by a Senegalese folktale, Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord, I would classify as young adult fiction. It's sophisticated enough for adults, has adult ideas in it, but is a good introduction for young adults for adult thinking. Lord, has a knack for depicting characters that are well-rounded and enjoyable. I derived, for lack of a better word, a certain delight in the depiction of the undying ones - not so much spirits as creatures outside of time and space. They were more archetypes than characters, I think.

In all, even though it was set, not quite in our world, but a close enough world, and primarily in the dry savanna landscape of Senegal, it still evoked that warm visual memory I get from those grey, drab, overcast late spring days.

A fun little repast of a book.

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