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Amaryllis in Blueberry Paperback – February 8, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's a line that sums up the Slepys:
"[They] are all islands unto themselves, and while each island may have clean water and electricity and toilets that flush, being isolated on an island is lonely indeed."
Each of the characters, while extensively explored and unrooted, are at their foundation, very shallow. I didn't particularly like or dislike any of them.
Dick Slepy, head of household, is extremely ordinary and particularly foolish for constantly urging the impossible:
"[He] thinks he can will himself a Dane and will his wife affectionate and will his children respectful, [and also] thinks demanding a perfect family, while snapping a photo of what looks like one, is the equivalent of having one.Read more ›
acceptance,Africa,missionaries,fate,buried secrets,sacrifice,slavery,culture difference,exploration of faith,synesthete(visions of artificial light around someone or something)and truth. This is the story of a husband's(Dick) obsession of his wife,Seena,a wife(Seena) who has committed adultery years before,is accused of her husband's murder and four daughters with four secrets.The youngest daughter,Amaryllis,is the child in question,she was born in an Blueberry patch.This is a compelling story of love and a family being forced from their home in Michigan to take up roots as a missionary in Africa,their trials,tributations and culture shock.If you enjoy a complex story with many facets this is a story for you. This book was received for the purpose of review from Gallery Books and details can be found .0at Gallery Books,a division of Simon & Schuster,Inc. and My Book Addiction and More.
Meldrum's writing is incandescent and sublime at times, most effective when describing Yllis's unique gifts and how she sees the world and people around her:
"I was different, and not just on the surface. I didn't fit in my family, I didn't fit in at school. Classmates and teachers (and Mary Tessa) so ridiculed me for my "wild imagination," I wasn't sure I belonged on earth. Yet I knew things about earth-about people on earth. I often knew things about earth-about people on earth. I often knew what people would say before they spoke. I knew whom people loved, whom they despised. I knew what gave others joy and fury and envy, even when they didn't seem to know themselves.
"Just to set the records straight, envy is not green. And rage isn't red hot, and the blues have nothing to do with blue. Envy is more dust colored, a transparent sort of gray. It quivers, like heat rising.Read more ›
This story is different in that it starts with the ending. Yes, strange but once you read the book, very fitting. The author does not give away the whole ending - just pieces that are revealed bit by bit as you come towards the actual end of the novel. It's also a story that jumps around a lot - different narrators and there is always the before and the after and even while in Africa the story jumps back to Michigan with more background. While it may sound like it would be confusing, it isn't. Amazingly it all flows so well - one piece into the next until you are just left amazed by the way the story unfolds before your eyes.
The Slepy's are a dysfunctional family to say the least. You know that right off the start. There is Dick and Seena and their four daughters - Mary Grace, Mary Catherine, Mary Tessa, and Amaryllis who was born in a blueberry patch and is considered the strangest of her family with her very wild imagination. The thing is that Yllis as they call Amaryllis is special; she can see and feel what others can't. She is also more special to her mother at the expense of the other girls for reasons that become apparent as you read on through the novel.
Seena is an emotionally distant mother who seems more buried in her books than anything else. She doesn't see anything around her or if she does she just brushes it off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I very much enjoyed Ms. Meldrum's style of writing, her exquisite phrasing, and the concept of starting at the "end". Read morePublished 8 months ago by BJ1950
The author did a good job of developing the characters, love them or hate them, she gave them life on the pages. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lisa
Another book for the beautiful and terrible category. Meldrum couples a literary voice with a compelling story and brings to life the dark, twisted lives of a lost family. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Ann L. Miller
I ordered this book for my kindle wireless ebook the book came in good working order as far as the content of the book it was a good readPublished on February 3, 2013 by Mary Brown
Well written, full of interesting characters- even if they are self absorbed! Loved the back and forth between different voices. I'm looking forward to her next boom alreadyPublished on January 4, 2013 by karin leppanen
(3.5 stars) The Slepy family is at a hidden boiling point. While on summer vacation in Michigan, Dick, the father, and a pathologist, is confronted by a statement from his youngest... Read morePublished on August 5, 2012 by Michelle Boytim
This was an OK read. Interesting at times, confusing at others. I think I was more taken with the title and expected something different. I passed it on to a friend who loved it.Published on July 17, 2012 by bmw
Honestly, I purchased the book because of the title. I'm an avid reader and have a great collection of books. Read morePublished on December 7, 2011 by A. Weatherspoon