Friday, 16 October 2020

Redemption In Indigo by Karen Lord

Redemption In Indigo by Karen Lord
Published by Small Beer Press in July 2010. Audiobook, narrated by Robin Miles, published by Whole Story Audiobooks in March 2012.

How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bursting with humour and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairytale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. When Paama leaves her husband, she attracts the attention of the undying ones - the djombi - who present her the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

This review was first published on my Stephanie Jane blog in February 2015.

I've finished Redemption In Indigo at last and, despite the ages it has taken for me to listen to its fairly short length, I am feeling a little sad to be away from Pamaa and her world. Having started at an awkward time without access to long solo walks which is when I do most of my listening, it is a credit to Karen Lord's memorable writing that I always found it very easy to both pick up my place in the tale, and remember how we had all got there, even though I had been away for several days. Redemption In Indigo is a perfect book to be heard, rather than read, because its narrator often breaks away to address the listener directly. With Robin Miles' able narration, these moments feel perfectly natural, but I think they might be odd for if reading a paper book.

Apparently the beginning of this enchanting tale is based on a traditional Senegalese folk tale. I loved the early episodes as the gluttonous Ansige attempts to win back his wife, Pamaa. She is forced to invent ever increasingly bizarre excuses to explain his mad behaviour! The intervention of various supernatural creatures, such as the Djombi and the tricksters meant that I never knew where Lord would take us next. I was reminded of the Neil Gaiman story Anansi Boys which is set in a similar environment. I think anyone who liked that would enjoy this although the stories themselves are different in their approach.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Karen Lord / Fairytales / Books from Barbados

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