Wednesday, September 21, 2005

ain't no Valley discussion #2: The Invitation

I've tried to read this book two times this summer. Upon my third time(this time) I decided to share my view of the book as I read it and couple it with remarks my writing group has said about the book along with maybe some explanations to their comments and concerns. Hopefully, this weeklong discussion will be a new addition to the blog as sort of a online bookclub forum. What do you think, Marina, Mary and Lashaunda?

ain't no valley
is broken down into three parts: invitation, the preparation, the wedding. During the Invitation section Mary and Moor, the wedding couple, invite their wedding party and friends to their San Francisco wedding destination. In the first few chapters we are introduced to Naomi, who has shirked her dentistry profession and ditched the other bridesmaids to appear on The Wheel of Fortune. Garvin, Mary's cousin and the wedding planner try to pull a last-minute weddding together. While Mary and Latrice search for something borrowed, something blue, etc. In the final chapter of this section Moor's reluctant best man, Anthony walks on stage. He's just been fired from his great job and cannot understand why his Lesothian transport coworker wants to make him his best man. There is so many things and so many people moving around no wonder my writing buddies felt lost, and , thus, abandoned the novel. I try to look at it as reminiscent to the first ten minutes of the movie, "The Best Man" and McMillan's movie adaptation of "Waiting to Exhale." Everything moves fast, since these busy people have to make time for what seems to be a busy and mysterious nuptial.

However, I am a little concerned that various point of views and many characters keep a Ewell novice from enjoying the book. For instance in Chapter three I had to read it twice to understand that MeeMaw wasn't the chapter's voice, but Garvin. And then when Garvin was talking to Esther over the phone I became lost again, because about two pages were devoted to Esther talking to people in her beauty shop instead of Garvin, so the pace was slowed down by that and a little confusing. When I back tracked I found my place. But I rarely backtrack when I read a book. In fact, if I have to backtrack I drop the book in my 3 and under rating pile. I assume it will be a difficult book to review and won't go any further until I have reviewed all the other books i have under deadline. But I wanted to give this book a chance. Afterall, Ewell won a Christy, so I want to see how she earned it.

Am I alone(I know I'm not: Rhonda, Lamonica :) ) But are there others who found the first part of the book hard to get through? And if not, can you help me get through Part Two faster?

Dee

4 comments:

La Monica R. Smith said...

Ain't No Valley is only the second Foster book I have picked up to read. The first was Passing by Samaria and I so thoroughly enjoyed that one (read it in like 2 days), that I had built up a certain expectation for Ain't No Valley.

I did read the first few chapters of Ain't No Valley, and I just did not connect with the characters and their stories as I did with Passing by Samaria. And I think the biggest hurdle for me in the very beginning, was trying to imagine a sistah who's a dentist giving up her whole career (even if she doesn't care for it all that much), to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

Perhaps I was spoiled by reading Passing by Samaria first. Sharon set the bar so high for me with that novel, that it really felt like someone else had written Ain't No Valley.

upwords said...

A bookclub, huh? What a cool idea. I haven't had time to read this one yet except the excerpt though. When y'all get ready to put it to my books, I'll be here taking notes...and sniffling. LOL

Mary G.

Dee said...

Yea. Lamonica. This novel and the whole series is written in a different tone. Leaving Somaria was more literary and serious; ain't no's is comedic and chic litty.

Not saying I don't chick lit, Mary G :)

upwords said...

Dee,

No problem, Dee. Say what you like about chick lit. :) You like what you like. I have more serious stuff mixed in with my funnies. However that works...

Mary

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