Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Last Warner Woman: A Novel by Kei Miller

About book:

Adamine Bustamante is born in one of Jamaica's last leper colonies.  When Adamine grows up, she discovers she has the gift of "warning": the power to protect, inspire, and terrify.  But when she is sent to live in England, her prophecies of impending disaster are met with a different kind of fear - people think she is insane and lock her away in a mental hospital.

Now an older woman, the spirited Adamine wants to tell her story.  But she must wrestle for the truth with the mysterious "Mr. Writer Man," who has a tale of his own to share, one that will cast Adamine's life in an entirely new light.  In a story about magic, migration, stories and storytelling, and the New and Old Worlds, we discover it is never one person who owns a story or has the right to tell it. 

My thoughts:

This is a book that you have to read for yourself to truly experience the magic that is Kei Miller's writing.  Seriously, I'm not going to write much, because I don't want to give anything away.  Plus, the summary above provides the gist of what the book is about.  So, I'm just going to tell you why I loved this book and think you should include it in your TBR pile.
  • Writing: terrific!  Its lyrical, engaging and such a treat to read.  You can't help but get carried away by both "Mr. Writer Man's" and Adamine's narratives.  Their points of view are distinct and mesmerizing.  One feels rather traditional in the way it spells out what happened, while the other has more of a mythical feel to it.  In fact, I found the pairing rather odd at first, but somehow it worked.  Combined, both narratives created a spellbinding story that was rich in detail and vivid in emotion.
  • Characters: unforgettable!  I absolutely felt my heart breaking for Adamine and Pearline - they were strong and determined women who had quite a few battles to to face.  I rooted for them and cried for them.  They became my friends. 
  • Story:  interesting and gripping.  I could not stop reading!  I had to find out who was telling the truth - Adamine or "Mr. Writer Man?" I still have Adamine's voice in my head as I type this.
  • Themes:  there are plenty of them.  Magic, truth, reality, relationships (mother/child), love, mental issues (insanity), and culture - to name a few.  These themes are explored through the story and also in the way the story is written.  The words (vernacular), structure and flow of the story all play a role in helping to connect with the magic within the story and the magic of the story.  
  • Overall:  A must read!  This is one story that you will want to revisit, because you know that when you do, you will discover something new - something you didn't notice the first time you read the book.  And that is what makes this book special - the never-ending reading possibilities it provides you with.  I just love when that happens with a book!  
The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller is a book that I am happy to have read and one that I will gladly recommend to anyone and everyone interested in a good read.  Especially those folks who enjoy a bit of magic in their stories.  

Thanks so much to Coffee House Press for providing me with a copy of this wonderful book!!  Check out their site for more info on The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller.


bermudaonion said...

Holy cow! This sounds like an incredible book!

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, it is! It reminded me of Maya Angelou's work. There was just something authentic to it that I connected with.

Lisa said...

My goodness - what a great sale you've made for this one!