Friday, July 15, 2011
Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Mood Peterkin, reveals the "scarlet" lifestyle of Sister Mary who brings 9 children, with 9 different fathers, into the world. Although, she married her first lover, he leaves and she continues her stint at mothering with eight more children. In the eyes of the church, Sister Mary is a "scarlet" sister.
The story is immersed in the Gullah history and exudes the superstitions, religion, and languages of the low country plantations of the South Carolina and Georgia coasts. Throughout the novel, the characters speak the Gullah dialect, which makes the reading a little more challenging, however, establishes the period and location for a more realistic setting. I rather enjoyed attempting to speak Gullah as I read. Julia Mood Peterkin, author, was a plantation mistress in South Carolina during the early 1900's which substantiates her experience but does leave the reader wondering if, indeed, she presents a realistic representation of all of her characters.
A 1929 Pulitzer Prize Winner and an oldie worth bringing off the shelf for a quick read.