Monday, January 9, 2012

Ally Green has been running away for 40 years. Reluctantly, she returns home to Molasses Creek to bury her father. She knows she should stay, but she's itching to run again. She chose to be an airline stewardess because she's constantly on the move, running away from so many things: the family that tied her down, her love for her neighbor across the creek, Vesey Washington, and mostly from the loss of her daughter, who was stolen as an infant in Nepal.

I enjoyed the setting in this book. Both Molasses Creek and Nepal are well described. However, I had trouble with the characters. Ally had a life of privilege, but she chose to run from it. She left college and eventually became pregnant, but didn't marry the father. Then the baby was stolen in Nepal. Through all this her parents, particularly her father, were her rock, yet she ran away from them. Vesey Washington, her friend from childhood, seems almost a stereotype of the the good blackman from the sixties. In fact, racial tensions sixties style form much of the background of the book. The daughter, Sunila, is another stock character. She is obsequious and timid. It's not surprising having been a low caste carver in a stone quarry in Nepal, but the whole situation seem utterly fantastical.

I can recommend this book only if you like a morality play. The characters seem unrealistic, as does the plot. The descriptions of place are the best part of the book.

I reviewed this book as part of the Book Sneeze Program.