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Mother of Pearl Paperback – Jun 1 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (June 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671774670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671774677
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #363,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 19 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Oprah picked it, and so do millions of others because this powerful debut novel captivates with its truth. Set in 1956 Mississippi, with a compelling narrative that reveals characters in all their frailty and glory, Mother Of Pearl synthesizes the longings and aspirations humans share.
The author speaks with a compassionate voice and actor Nan Visitor performs with a commanding one, perfectly capturing the nuances of saints and sinners alike in this memorable tale of what can happen in a single year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Sowerwine on May 22 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a book that you will not forget. Mother of Pearl is an amazing novel that shows the differences in society circles in the south (racism and prejudice). The book is set in Petal, Mississippi. 14 year old white Valuable lives with her grandmother and has one true friend, Jackson. Valuable was abandoned as a baby by her town [prostitute] mother. For a while the book seperates the stories of Valuable and a young black man named Even (who was orphaned as a baby) and brings their paths together in the middle of the book through Joody. Joody is considered the town's crazy woman (voodoo witch). Valuable goes to Joody to try and find out about herself. Even falls in love with Joody. When Valuable's grandmother dies her mother comes back and makes her life miserable. Valuable falls in love with Jackson (who we find out is her half-brother, but neither Valuable or Jackson know their father is the same man). Valuable becomes pregnant and Jackson's family moves him far away. Valuable has no contact with him and can't tell him that she's pregnant. Valuable comes to love and depend on her gay aunt, Even, Joody, Grace, and Jackson's best friend. During the birth Valuable has complications and dies. Even takes the baby as his own to raise because he can't make the baby an orphan, because of his own past. Jackson learns that Valuable is dead when he returns to see her with flowers in hand only to be forced to read her tombstone. This book shows that love and friendship really do conquer all. This is an unforgetable read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is the story of 28-yr-old Even Grade who grew up as an orphan in Mississippi and Joody, a seer, the mother of Pearl (a grey-eyed male). Opening in 1956 in the magnolia state where the two meet; ending five years later (1961) in Alabama, the cotton state, when Pearl is four and his friend Sophy Marie (named after Sophocles) is three. She's the daughter of Grace and Cannan Mosley. Pearl had said, "Girls don't like to be bossed." She uses the Negro language of the fifties.
When I was eleven, I had a half-sister named Mary Ruth Mosley whose mother died and, subsequently, the 3-yr-old child was adopted by someone from her mother's family. The name Mosley brought back memories of the loss of a little girl I loved very much.
This is promoted as a tale of the search for identify and the power of renewal. It is based on one of the stories Ray Haynes passed on to his wife. She uses these quotes (which are signifigant): "Fate has terrible power. You cannot escape it by wealth or war. No fort will keep it out, no ships outrun it" by Sophocles. "Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders," by William Faulkner who knew the South and its inhabitants better than almost any other writer.
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By A Customer on May 28 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I should have given up on this book early on but I stubbornly stuck with it. The story did get a little better...but I still feel as though I wasted my time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
MOTHER OF PEARL is a novel about the truths of life and love. Set in Petal, Mississippi in the summer of 1956, Haynes opens her story with a vague description of the initial characters, but this only draws the reader in furthur to know more. The story unfolds for 28 year old Even Grade, a black man who is an orphan in need of a family. As Even finds himself falling in love with the town crazy, Joody Two Sun, 14 year old Valuable Korner is also experiencing new love in her lifelong friend Jackson McLain.
Haynes finds a way to incorporate very colorful and descriptive language into a masterpiece that comes together beautifully to create one big picture. Some think that the complexity of the language takes away from the book, but I think that it adds to the overall effect that the reader experiences when discovering this heartfelt story of two lives.
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By Kim M on March 19 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
This book is a very slow read. It takes quite a while for the book to grab the reader, then its still moves pretty slowly. The books contains many stories, most seem to intertwine with each other effortlessly. However there are some chapters that should have been edited out. I wish the author would have focused on just a couple of the characters instead of making every character that was introduced into a main character. I feel since this book is called "Mother of Pearl" that it should have focused more on Val and Jackson. At the end I had more questions than answers.
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By "piedmontnc" on Jan. 13 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like a typewriter stuck on one letter, this book is full of similes. As repetitive as a woodpecker working on an old oaken log, this book is full of similes. If you enjoy similes like a dog enjoys scratching his fleas, then you may find this book entertaining.
Like a freshman English professor tired of reading excessive adjectives in assignments, I did not.
I too stuck it through to the very end, wading through the tedious and verbose prose; probably more because I'm stubborn (and always finish my books) and not due to the fact that I was enjoying the read.
The storyline, though sometimes confusing, was above average. It almost begs a sequel. But, like an imperfect movie that gets mediocre reviews, this book needs no continuation.
As a fairly frequent reader, I've got one last question:
How did this make Oprah's book club?!!!
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