Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes

I wasn’t completely put off by Melinda Haynes’ ‘Mother of Pearl’, but neither was I completely satisfied. I have debated with myself if I should award two or three stars, and I decided on three stars, because there are some well developed characters in this strange story. The reader will sometimes get the feeling that the author is trying too hard making this story the story of the century, and I am not sure this book deserves it. Perhaps it is just me, but there were parts I had to skim. I had trouble understanding what the whole thing was about, and I felt too many things were left unsaid. It is not that a story needs to be pinned out, but too much symbolism and too many unsaid things makes one confusing story. And I was confused at times. And it is not like the plot is so unusual that you’ll HAVE to make it that difficult to read. All that said, the plot was good, and the book well written for the most parts. It is about the girl Valuable, growing up with her grandmother in a little town in Mississippi in the 1950’es. Due to coincidence (or is it?) Valuable make friends with black ‘witch’ Joody TwoSun, who lives by the Creek. Through this ‘friendship’, she also meets Joody’s lover, Even Grade, his friend Canaan and Canaan’s woman-friend Grace. There is also Valuable’s boyfriend Jackson, and the troubled teenager Joleb. All of them has a voice in the story, and it is not always pleasant what they’ll have to say. There is much drama in the story, most of it circling around Valuable and Jackson’s relationship and around Even Grade, and his thoughts on life, him having grown up as an orphan. The racial problems in the South in the 1950’es and 60’es are touched upon, but it it not this story’s main plotline, although it lures in the back of your mind while reading. It took me a long time to plow through this one, and I am torn between recommending it or not!