by Ernest J. Gaines
"After living in San Francisco for ten years, Jackson returns home to his benefactor, Aunt Charlotte. Surrounded by family and old friends, he discovers that his bonds to them have been irreparably rent by his absence. In the midst of his alienation from those around him, he falls in love with Catherine Carmier, setting the stage for conflicts and confrontations which are complex, tortuous, and universal in their implications." From the back cover of Catherine Carmier
"I know what you're looking for. Dignity, truth -- you want to make something out of a senseless world." Madame Bayonne to Jackson Bradley in Catherine Carmier
I read this book, Ernest J. Gaines' first novel, because I was so moved by A Lesson Before Dying that I wanted to read another of his just to see if it hit me the same way. There are some deep issues to ponder in Catherine Carmier, the strongest of them being the ties to our families, good and bad. It explores what we may or may not owe our families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf and what can happen when those sacrifices are made at the cost of one's true potential. The themes are strong, but I didn't feel them the way I did when I read Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying. Being as this was his first novel, I'm not too surprised or disappointed. It was still a good book and left me looking forward more of his work.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!