(This is not a real review, just a bunch of random thoughts on a novel I really liked.)
You know that amazing feeling when you read the first passage of a novel and you're instantly in love with it? That feeling, almost like "I'm home". How do you NOT love an opening like this:
Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.
..so wonderfully poetic, soul-filling, magical, so oh, I cannot believe how good it is.
This is the story of self discovery of a woman who throughout her life was defined only in relation to her husbands, partially by her skin color (being a descendant of a family where there is much "white blood" --both her mother and grandmother were raped by white men; her skin is fair, and her hair silky smooth). Only in her third marriage did she find what she was looking for (but did she really? The question kept cropping up for me; she is madly in love with him, he treats her as a princess, but somethings wrong there... Tea Cake is not perfect, God knows, but is she purposely closing her eyes before his faults?)
Did the misunderstand you, Zora?
"...the quieter voice of a woman searching for self-realization could not, or would not, be heard."
It's not easy for me to write about this novel without turning it into an essay...again. These are the major points I take from this novel. I'm sure I've forgotten something, it's been three months since I read it. We had a Fullbright scholarship professor from Radford who made this class such an enjoyable and inspiring experience, more than literature class I ever took. Thank you for that :)