Monday, July 19, 2010

Resurrection in May by Lisa Sampson Review

The story begins with Claudius, an older bachelor in the autumn of his life, praying to see an angel. Instead, he finds May Seymour, a twenty-something graduate of University of Kentucky, with dreams of journalism. A friendship is quickly developed and May becomes Claudius' surrogate daughter, as she continues her quest for what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She briefly brushes shoulders (perhaps more than just shoulders) with Claudius' distant cousin, Eli, who was of some interest to May at UK. At this point Eli is peripheral.

May has already made arrangements to be a relief worker in Rwanda. She stays on Claudius' farm for a couple of months before she leaves to Rwanda. At the same time, Eli leaves for war in Afghanistan. Eli also has a shotgun wedding and becomes a father shortly thereafter.

The time that the author has chosen for May to be in Rwanda is during the atrocious Hutu vs. Tutsi war. May is a relief worker in a village populated with mostly Tutsi people, the tribe that is being persecuted. Her experiences are told in a single chapter, as she learns the way of the people, loves the people, seeks solace with the priest at the church, the rising tensions, and her eventual escape which does not leave her unscathed.

May returns to Kentucky to heal. The healing process takes the rest of the book with further development of previous characters that completely delighted me. The author writes a cohesive story with solid writing style that pulls the reader from scene to scene. Very well written.

I have no specific complaint about the book. Again, well written and solid story. I just didn't love it. It is going to be one of those books that when someone mentions Rwanda, I will recall the two books I read about the war. I loved the characters the author created, and they are very well developed. I appreciated Eli's predicament and May's anxiety disorder. I guess I just feel like the book didn't give me a solid ending, although it does have a conclusion that covers all of the characters.

3 stars

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