Book Reviews of Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl
Author: Melinda Haynes
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ISBN-13: 9780671774677
ISBN-10: 0671774670
Publication Date: 6/1/2000
Pages: 496
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 115 ratings
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

22 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Predictable and wordy. I didn't see this as insightful as others did and found it a chore to get through. Save your time, as there are better books out there on the same subject.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I want to recommend a serious novel: MOTHER OF PEARL. This was an Oprah Club book and I really enjoyed it. A bit out of normal realm for me, but I highly recommend it. The setting is small town Mississippi in the 1950's. If you are familiar with the Southern lifestyle you will get into the book right away. I have talked to others who weren't so accustomed to the way we do things "down South" and they thought the book was a little odd. (not bad-just odd) But trust me, this book rings pretty true. This is a story about judgements, persecution and prejudice. The two main characters are Even Grade, a 28 year old black man who grew up an orphan in a segregated small southern town and Valuable Korner, a fifteen year old girl, considered poor white trash, a daughter of a whore (father unknown). These two unlikely people develop a genuine friendship. The book is full of outrageous, believable characters who help these two try to create a life they never had as children. The author is Melinda Haynes. She is a great writer and this book really kept me turning pages as the mystery unfolded. Multiple plots lead up to a shattering tragedy. Great book.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Very interesting, takes a while to get into, but offers a lot of rewards. NOT a beach read!! If you like Southern literature, you'll probably eat this up.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a stunning, insightful novel about race in a small town in the 1950s, in the deep South. The characters, a 28-year-old black man and a 15-year-old white girl, will engage your attention. I found this book to be a though-provoking fiction work about love, about mystery, about race, and about tragedy. Fiction, you see, is sometimes carries far more "truth" than reality. A satisfying read.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I have never liked anything Oprah has recommended and this badly written book is no different.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
this was not my FAVORITE oprah book, but i still really enjoyed the read. and again, as i got towards the end i was just devouring it. i deeply respect the author and how the book was put together. i'm continually amazed that people can create such vivid characters and stories. it's truly a gift. going to look up her next book!
reviewed Mother of Pearl on
Helpful Score: 1
In intese well written book, could definitly read again
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As usual, Oprah knows how to pick a book!
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 25 more book reviews
This book takes place down south, and was an interesting book that my book club read one month, it features the growing up years of the girl "Pearl" and how she lived her life, and her many adventures.
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Fabulous book!
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Read it for the ending!
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 381 more book reviews
MOTHER OF PEARL is a novel about the truths of life and love. Set in Petal, Mississippi in the summer of 1956, Haynes opens her story with a vague description of the initial characters, but this only draws the reader in furthur to know more. The story unfolds for 28 year old Even Grade, a black man who is an orphan in need of a family. As Even finds himself falling in love with the town crazy, Joody Two Sun, 14 year old Valuable Korner is also experiencing new love in her lifelong friend Jackson McLain.
Haynes finds a way to incorporate very colorful and descriptive language into a masterpiece that comes together beautifully to create one big picture.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 80 more book reviews
Too long, too wordy and too much allusion and metaphor. Stereotypical characterizations abound; the sassy, ill-spoken African-American women, the butch lesbian, the flighty whore, etc.
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Couldn't get into this. Set in the South in the mid-50s, it borders on Faulkneresque, and I'm just not interested in going there.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 51 more book reviews
I do like this book -- and it is a selection of Oprah's Book Club -- but it seems like everytime I start reading it, I just can't finish it. I've tried about 3 times. So, what I've read is good . . . but I don't qualify to review the entire book!
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 44 more book reviews
An Oprah's book Club selection and NY Times bestseller, Mother of Pearl is set in Mississippi in the 1950s. The novel revolves around 28 yr old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner (named after a sign), the 15 yr old daughter of the town whore. Both want to discover the human connection, enduring commitment and unconditional love they never experienced as children.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 33 more book reviews
Capturing all the rueful irony and racial ambivalence of a small town Mississippi in the late 1950's, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity, and redeption. It revolves around a 28 year old Evan Gradee, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the 15 year old white daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Both are passionately determined to discover the precious things neither experienced as children: human connection, enduring committment, and ablve all, unconditional love. A startling accomplished mixture of beauty, mystery and tragedy.

This is part of the Oprah book club selection.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 715 more book reviews
Oversized softcover, story of 28 y.o. black man who grew up an orphant and 15 y.o. white girl, daughter of town whore and unknown father. Beauty, mystery, tragedy, identity, redemption.
reviewed Mother of Pearl on + 18 more book reviews
Set in a small Mississippi town in the late 1950s, Mother of Pearl is populated by original characters with themes of identity and the true meaning of family interwoven throughout. The story revolves around twenty-eight-year-old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, a fifteen-year-old white girl who is the daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Their paths cross through Joody Two Sun, a seer, who sets up camp along the riverbank just outside of town and becomes Even's lover. Both Even and Valuable are seeking the family, love, and commitment they never had, and their search ultimately takes both of them to places they never dreamed they'd go.
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From Publishers Weekly
In prose both rugged and beautiful, Haynes plumbs the secrets of the South in her stunning debut novel. Set in Petal, Miss., across the Leaf River from Hattiesburg, the narrative opens in the summer of 1956, shortly after Even Grade, a 27-year-old black man, has met Joody Two Sun, a seer whos known as a witch, and not long after Valuable Korner, the 14-year-old daughter of the towns one loose woman, gets her Blessing of Blood, as Joody Two Sun calls it. Evenso named from the note his mother left when she abandoned him at a Memphis orphanageis a decent man, kindheartedly building a family of friends; while Valuable, the daughter of a dying Southern line, an orphan of sorts herself, is deeply in need of family. Valuable and Jackson McLain, the boy down the street, fall in love, and Haynes captures that phenomenon delicately and persuasively. In a heartbeat Valuable is pregnant, and as Jackson is forced to move away, Valuable turns to Joody and Even for support as she carries the baby she comes to think of as Pearl. Despite Evens help, Valuable, whose family hides secrets far darker than this pregnancy, seems doomed to pay for the sins of the past. Indeed, Hayness capacious novel is very much about the justice wrought by destiny, but it is also about finding family, people who nurture, forgive and care for each other; in the novels resolution, those most deserving of love are brought together. Haynes is fearless in portraying her characters flaws, their pettiness and racism, their erring thoughts, but shes also merciful, letting them grow and change during the course of the narrative. While perhaps too many of the characters take the stage, each with tragic accounts of their lives, Haynes nevertheless triumphs with a rare and memorable ensemble. This wise, luminous novel demonstrates her great giftsfor language, courageous storytelling and compassion. BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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NY Times bestseller
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I have two of this book and have not read it yet.