Our beach vacation began with a road trip, and that does mean a historical pit stop is required. Ray's a good sport and indulges me on our adventures. We stopped in Natchitoches LA - quaint historical town on the Cane River. It was time to stretch the legs and mind.
Fort St. Jean Baptiste is a replication of the 1714 site - French Colonial life is depicted. Over 2000 pine logs form the palisade and over 250,000 board feet of lumber went into the building construction. Hinges and latches were handmade at a nearby foundry. It was interesting to tour the living quarters, the old kitchen, see the big outdoor bread oven, a church, and the jail.
It was quite humid. I can't imagine wearing the heavy layers of clothes folks wore back in colonial times. Whew!
Just a quick one day post. My Aunt Jane passed at the age of 87 on Monday. Oh, she was a force of nature. Tiny with an infectious laugh. This picture from back in the day pretty much exudes her personality. I always wanted to be blonde and vivacious like her. She was "fun", unlike my dear practical mother who had a boatload of common sense. ( That was my teen me perception)
Alas, the spark diminished and slowly the embers burned out these past years. It was time for her to go.
And now today, Tuesday July 10th, my mother will have been gone exactly 26 years. She passed at age 60 in 1992
The Leavers by Lisa Ko is a powerful debut
novel full of rich characters, a very current immigrant tale, a story of family
love, family loss, and it’s a coming of age story too.
Cover blurb – One morning Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an
undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon – and never
comes home. No one can find any trace of her.
Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid
examination of borders and belonging. It’s a moving story of how a boy comes
into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to
live with the mistakes of the past.
At age eleven, Deming is mystified and bereft. His life is
turned upside down and he’s signed over to an adoption agency and placed with
well-meaning white professors. He’s moved upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson.
Kids are resilient and yet, Deming/Daniel drifts – trying to please his
adoptive parents and yet not feeling as if he fits in anywhere. He seems to
screw up what he touches – school, his music, being in a rock band, and
friendships. He’s wary, always ready to be left.
The author tells the story from different viewpoints –
Deming as a kid, Daniel as a young man, and from Polly. We do learn what
happened to her and how she also had to adapt and survive. Her choices left her
with many regrets and she always felt the loss of Deming. There are lots
of questions in this book and no easy answers.
p.48 after Daniel is adopted One week later,
tucked into a double bed sheathed with red flannel, Deming Guo awoke with the crumbs
of dialect on his tongue, smudges and smears of dissolving syllables, nouns,
and verbs washed out to sea.
The Leavers is poignant and sticks with you –
to me that’s the sign of a really good read.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.