Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum Review and Giveaway

Amaryllis in BlueberryAmaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My take: I am really stumped whether I hated this book or loved it. I am still trying to figure out the symbolism which irritates me that I'm not seeing it more clearly. I'm also trying to figure out whether or not I liked the story itself or just the writing. I'm thinking that it is the writing that draws me as does the African setting. I also enjoyed the character development. Each member of the family became distinct the further I traveled with them.

The time is 1976. Amaryllis is having her 11th birthday. She and Mary Tess come across a dead snake splayed open. They also cross paths with a Native American man. I think the symbolism of the snake is that the evidence dictates that the family face the inevitable truth - Amaryllis has a different father, although Amaryllis' guess is wrong.

Dick (Dad) gets his panties in a wad because he knows it's true, although it's never discussed. He believes the sperm donor is in the vicinity of the summer house and does stuff he shouldn't in an effort to not murder the supposed sperm donor then goes to confession where the priest encourages him to go serve in West Africa. As the reader soon sees, this is laden with irony.

POV is told by all members of the family. This distinguishes each person, personality, flaw and strength for me. Dick is buried in his Catholic beliefs, Seena rejects religion and favors mythology, Mary Grace is beautiful and wants desperately to prove she is more than just a pretty face, Mary Catherine, a wounded and pious soul, Mary Tess who loves to stir the pot and Amaryllis, the girl who sees colors with emotion along with other things that natural eyes can not see.

Like I said, the story did not draw me in. The POV and writing style, however, was beautiful and well organized. The author has a solid grasp on language.

The good people at Simon and Schuster have agreed to sponsor a giveaway!  Yay!  I would love to see others' reviews.  This would be a fantastic book club book.  In fact, book discussion questions are included.

U.S. only
No P.O. Boxes
One copy per household
Ends March 1, 2011
2 copies available
+1 for comments.  Tell me where you'd rather be than in the cold, cold snow.

41 comments:

Tiffany said...

I would love to be at a warm beach reading a book. I have had enough of snow!

Great giveaway! I really want to read this :)

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Kristy Nicole said...

I want to be somewhere tropical with palm trees and beaches and the smell of the ocean.. ahhh :)
kristy[at]dreamingbyday[dot]com

debbie said...

Thanks for the honest review. It sounds like a book you have to think about.

KM said...

Omg I'm obsessed with this cover! Sounds like a really interesting book. :)

Meredith said...

Since I'm in Florida, I have no cold, cold snow! My sis in Wisconsin keeps inviting me up, but I'm not going until August! No snow!

Jo said...

I liked reading your review. I'm about halfway through this book (my review is due to be posted on the 23rd), and I'm liking it so far, although it makes me think back (a lot) to Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. :)

Ellie said...

I'm not in cold snow, but if I could be anywhere, I'd want to be in the cold cold snow. I haven't lived up north in years and miss it.

Amy said...

I'd rather be in front of a roraing fire in a fireplace or on a beautiful beach in Hawaii!

Thank you for the giveaway!
Aimala127@gmail.com

Lisa loves to read! (Bookworm Lisa) said...

Hawaii! I want to be in Hawaii!

Vivien said...

I want to be somewhere warm! We just had a snowpocolypse here!! Gah....Fiji here I come.

Maureen said...

I'd love to be somewhere warm maybe Hawaii or Jamaica or Aruba. I'm not fussy.

Divya said...

I want to be on a beach, anywhere really, it just has to be tropical.

Ruthie said...

Anywhere in the warm, warm sun!

Brenda said...

I would rathre be in St. John!

I've heard it is beautiful there. We would so love to leave Michigan for a while but because I had neck surgery I can't go on a vacation until the brace is off.

dancealert at aol dot com

Karen said...

Oh, I love the snow! I'd stay in a snowy region all the time!

blissfulrains(at)yahoo(dot)com

Vidisha said...

Sound like a great read

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...

I would love to be someplace warm and away from it all, like Aruba :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

Dawn M. said...

Florida or Hawaii...anywhere that's above freezing would be nice!

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Crystal said...

I'd rather be right here where I am, just fast-forward to end of April-beginning of June when the temps are nice and it's sunny and beautiful here on the coast of NC. That is before it gets hot and we start complaining again.

We've even gotten 3 separate snows this winter - one dusting, one was about 3 inches and one was 8 inches - that is more snow than I saw in the first 21 years of my life on the NC coast!

crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

Chi Kittie said...

Thank you so much for this giveaway. Such a nice review. Thank you! :)

ChiKittie(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa said...

It's cold here BUT they are saying we get to have temps in the 70s next week...so I'm staying home!

When someone says they aren't sure if they love or hate a book I automatically wanna read it!

I'm a new follower

SiNn said...

awesme review and honestly id have to say I like teh cold but if i had to chose id pic Ireland anytime of year lol

Mona said...

Well I'm in Florida. We moved here 2 years ago but,before that, I lived in Wisconsin practically my whole life and I miss the change of seasons.

Maybe I'll be a snowbird.

monagarg@yahoo.com

A Tail of 2 Doggies said...

Actually, I would like to be in the cold, cold, cold...as that would mean that I was visiting with some of my children and grandchildren.

Thanks so much for the giveaway.

Katy said...

Id rather be in Palau...swimming in Jellyfish lake!

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Pamela Kaye said...

In a comfy chair with a great book, anywhere it is warm!

Leslie said...

I'd rather be in the Caribbean, on a boat, reading a book.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

In the Mediterranean. Love me some art and some history!


Lane

moiraethefates(AT)gmail(DOT)com

CountessLaurie said...

I'd rather be in the Sahara...
reading a book...
with an icy diet coke...

and what the hey, since i am dreaming ...

with Sawyer fanning me...

eclairre said...

I'd rather be next to the cozy fireplace indoors =)

Atypical Girl said...

Florida! Oh, wait, it's been cold there this winter. Hmm....

Nancye said...

In a dream world I would like to be on an exotic island with a lovely beverage. In real life, I'd like to be in my nice, warm, cozy house with my sweet puppy in my lap.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Katy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margie said...

I'd love to be in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico....on the beach!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

I would love to be in Lyme Regis!!
Would love to live there!

Best
Tracy :)

SusieBookworm said...

I'd rather be inside reading, curled up on my sofa with a cup of hot chocolate.

pmj said...

I want to see the sea!
pjames330 at aol dot com

Amy said...

I'd rather be in the snow right now. I was just sitting here eating my lunch and remembering how cute I looked in tights and boots with a shortish skirt.

Gwendolyn B. said...

I lived in Tucson for a long time; now I've been back home in Lil Rhody twice as long as I was out west. If I could bring my whole family with me, I drop everything else and move back out there in a heartbeat!

Thanks for the chance to win this book - I've read that others had mixed feelings about it, too.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Nancye said...

No snow for me! Give me the beach, pool, & a good book, and I'm set!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Terri. said...

I like the cold snow, but wish I had a fireplace to sit in front of with a book
tshaw6580@yahoo.com