This book is not to be found in the horror or sci-fi sections (although there are ghosts lurking between its covers), but I wanted my first book review on this website to be this one because this novel inspired me to write again after a long drought. I am forever grateful to Jesmyn Ward for waking up my inner writer and am a fan of hers for life!
I originally posted this review on Amazon in 2018 and on a previous website I ran under a another name:
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is not your run of the mill literary novel. It not only gives the reader a bird’s-eye view of what it’s like to be the child of a crystal meth addict, but also gives us insight into how the addict herself justifies her actions. The book begins from the point of view of a young boy, Jojo, who has been forced to take on too much responsibility at the age of thirteen, because of his mother’s obsession with her imprisoned boyfriend (his father) and her hopeless addiction to drugs. His younger sister, Kayla, seeks him when she is upset because he is her protector and sole caregiver. They live with their grandparents, but Jojo’s grandfather, while a loving figure in Jojo’s life, is the only caretaker of his dying wife.
The book explores racial divides in Mississippi’s past and present. Jojo and Kayla live in the home of their black grandparents and are shunned by their white grandparents. It delves into graphic descriptions of lynchings, prison beatings, etc… And what makes the book extremely unique is the spiritual presence as a result of those violent circumstances.
This is the first literary work I’ve read since A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (another great book!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It definitely deserves 5 stars!