Customer Reviews


229 Reviews
5 star:
 (71)
4 star:
 (46)
3 star:
 (17)
2 star:
 (35)
1 star:
 (60)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars A COMMANDING READING
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...
Published on Feb. 19 2004 by Gail Cooke

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pearl is a boy; his mother is a seer.....
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...
Published on June 30 2004 by Betty Burks


‹ Previous | 1 223 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars A COMMANDING READING, Feb. 19 2004
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mother of Pearl (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book You Remember, May 22 2004
By 
Mary Sowerwine (Duarte, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Pearl is a boy; his mother is a seer....., June 30 2004
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Feel like I wasted my time., May 28 2004
By A Customer
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Masterpiece, May 18 2004
By 
Anna Smith (Johnson City, TN USA) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Review for Mother of Pearl, March 19 2004
By 
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars A Simile Factory, Jan. 13 2004
By 
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?!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Mother of Pearl Review, Dec 10 2003
By 
Marisol (San Francisco, Ca USA) - See all my reviews
Mother of Pearl is not a novel you can forget. The author brings up issues that affect society and shows that with the help of those in their lives it creates who they are in the future. Mother of Pearl is about the struggles and issues of a small Southern town, whose people face racism, hiprocrisy, and hatred. But most importantly it shows how love and friendship can help those who suffer and who were alone realize their worth. That even though there are those who talk about you because you don't wear the right clothes or are the considered the town's whore,this novel shows that if we listen to those who judge us we will never appreciate life and waste our time worrying what they might say. In the novel a fourteen year old girl, who is the daughter of the town's whore, falls in love with her childhood friend Jackson. Both of them are friends, but their families are different. Even Grade, a thiry three year old black man, falls in love with Joody Two Son, a mixed race woman who the town thinks is crazy.
Each one of these characters shows that no matter what we do it will not turn out perfect unless we make it perfect and strive for the positive side instead of the negative side. Although in the novel Even Grade loves Joody he is attracted to a beautiful black woman named Grace. This shows that although Even has the woman he loves there is still temptation towards another woman from his side that can cause unhappiness. The novel brings about many issues that people face. Mother of Pearl gives the reader hope and faith that things will turn out good.Maybe not now, but once it does we will realize that it was worth the wait.Mother of Pearl establishes a ground base of human life and that is why I give this novel four out of five stars because of its respect for human autonomy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars sweet, thick, and slow as molasses, July 25 2003
By 
Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel (bowling green ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I began this book, I actually put it down and picked it up again months later. It is a slow-starter, pulling you in gradually, bit by bit, until you're half-in, half-out of the quicksand and not sure whether to give in or try to get out. This time, I opted for staying in, and I was glad I did.
This book contains many different plots, but as the novel reaches its conclusion, most of them blend together seamlessly and in a way that makes perfect sense... it just seems to take a while to get there. Haynes does revel in sometimes needless symbolism, and I was put off at first by the contrived similarity to Toni Morrison's _Song of Solomon_ (which was written 20 years earlier). Characters have names like Valuable Korner and Even Grade. Other characters are very unlikeable (Beryn Green, for example, father of Joleb), and some are irresistable, especially Joody Two Sun (who is a magical woman living by the river). The river is very important in the novel, as are dreams, connections between people, and family ties.
Sometimes I would have to re-read sections due to the large number of characters... I would actually lose track of what had happened to whom, even though I read the book constantly. Other aspects of the novel were frustrating and painful. However, I was thoroughly moved by the novel and was transported, finally, by Haynes' writing, which to me is the best thing a writer can do for you. I recommend this book to anyone with a little patience and some time on their hands.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic, April 4 2003
By 
Nicole Laflamme (Rittman, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I adored the prose-like writing of this book. It was beautifully descriptive. The tea-colored water, the old worn sign whose purpose had been forgotten...all these wonderful details really set the scene for this story. It's almost like painting with words. Of course, the characters were glorious. I especially liked Joleb, whose bluntly spoken words had me laughing out loud.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 223 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes (Paperback - June 1 2000)
CDN$ 20.95 CDN$ 15.29
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews