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Memoirs of a Dead White Chick Paperback – August 11, 2015
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About the Author
Lennox Randon is a graduate of the Houston Police Academy and The University of Texas at Austin, and has worked as a police officer, an elementary school teacher, and a technical writer. As of this writing, Randon is living with metastatic GIST cancer. Though born and raised in Texas, Randon currently lives in Iowa.
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The author also managed to instill a similar theme in both novels—how a fish out of water survives and prevails. In FDBL, it’s an Black Iowa cop who has to relocate to Austin, Texas, in a Witness Protection Program. In Memoirs, it’s a 41-year-old White Texas woman (ex-cop, current teacher) who is killed and through the mystery of moving lights, is reincarnated into the body of a 16-year-old Black male in of all years—1858!—and with all her memories intact. Now that’s a relocation that only a very creative, inventive mind like Lennox Randon can realize in moving, compelling and, yes, witty prose.
Then Randon gets us into some very serious stuff. Eleanor/Matthew just happens to be in the right place at the wrong time and gets abducted from relatively slave-free Philadelphia and forced into slavery on a Maryland tobacco plantation. Then unwittingly, she/he is juxtaposed with John Brown just before he leads the raid on Harper’s Ferry. And then, because of the Butterfly Effect, the history as Eleanor knew it is forever altered. At this point, I took the time to Google John Brown and Harper’s Ferry and maps of the region described and was rewarded with not only my refreshment of my limited knowledge of history and geography but the awareness of how well Lennox Randon captured historical events and made me feel like I was there.
Memoirs of A Dead White Chick is a perfect title for such an unusual narrative. The language is a marvelous blend of 19th Century verbiage and historical fact with 20th Century lingo and cultural references. My only criticism is that the end came too quickly. I wanted to know more and then I was on the last page. Hopefully, this means the author has a sequel already in mind.
Here's what I loved:
Lennox Randon writes with such humour that I couldn't help but giggle out loud. This is the kind of book that you are better off reading at home, unless you want people staring at you as if you have lost your mind for the sudden outbursts of giggles it causes. It has been a while since a book did that to me.
The main character is highly likable in both forms, and I could easily identify with her lifestyles in the beginning--and later became enthralled with the transition and the times she was living through. This novel is witty, intellectually stimulating, hilarious and also makes you stop and think about how much the world had changed in the last hundred or so years--as well ass how many things that should have changed--haven't. It deals with some very serious issues--race, gender, etc., but is done in such a way that it still feels like a fun, enjoyable read.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent read. I must buy this book as gifts this year for others who could use an escape from daily life.
Two thumbs way up for this one.
This review is based on a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.