Friday, July 16, 2010

Ain't No Mountain by Sharon Ewell Foster

Another church library book (the last one for a while, I think!)...

Ain't No Mountain is the second book in a triology (which includes Ain't No River and Ain't No Valley) that can just as easily be read alone.  Foster's writing is sometimes wildly funny, sometimes sad and often quite preachy (sometimes for pages on end, which may turn some readers off).  She follows a lively cast of characters including Mary - who is struggling with her singleness; her girl friends - who provide support, encouragement and laughs; her teenaged mentoring students - who struggle with difficult personal issues; Puddin' and Joes - a long time married couple who are busy with some very serious miscommunication; Moor - a single immigrant who is not looking for marriage; and his friends - who are determined to see him married.

Generally, I really enjoy books written about different cultures (and this black, urban, working class neighbourhood is definitely a different culture for me) but Foster has a way of writing about her world that seems to exclude outsiders and I often felt like I was being chided for not "getting it"... I often felt too white, too conservative, too happily married, too upper-middle class; somehow like I was to blame.

Do you know the feeling I'm talking about? 
I can't really think of any other book that has left me feeling like this....

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