Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

Title: The Queen of Palmyra
Author: Minrose Gwin
ISBN: 978-0061840326
Publisher: Harper Perennial/2010
Pages: 416

Based in summer of 1963, in Milkwood, it depicts those times in the eyes of 11 year old Florence Forrest. Her father is a racist and mother is the cake lady, who is trying to get away from her brutal marriage by drinking and bootlegging. Florence finds a friend in the form of her grandparents maid, Zenie, which is a soetrt form of Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra. Zenie can simply considers Florence as unwanted chore but Florence look forward to being with her every day.

Florence's father has a dark secret, which even when revealed to the young girl, is not comprehended by her. She doesn't understand class or colur differences and her father is totally racist. He is abusive too for her and her mother. ONly her grandparents seem to be somewhat tolerant towards coloured people.

Everything seems to be peaceful until the day Eva Greene, Zenie's niece appears in time. Along with college, she too is selling insurance like Florence's father. In a race divided community, it is unthinkable and tragedy strikes.

Florence's relationship with Zenie and Eva is well brought out. Zenie barely tolerates her but Eva cares for the girl. Both bond well. Florence's mother gets drunk to forget her abusive husband. She in her own way even tries to protect the black community.

Florence tries to understand all that is happening around her and her struggles are well depicted. She is naive in the beginning but circumstances do make her grow up and all the other characterisation have been done very well.

It did remind me of To Kill a Mockingbird. And that is saying something about the novel. With good prose, Minrose Gwin has written a winner.



Beth said...

Wow, that sounds like a loaded book!

jlshall said...

Interesting review. Sounds like a book I'll want to take a look at.

Irene said...

Wow indeed as Beth said. Here's mine.

Nise' said...

I've seen this somewhere as it is on my TBR list.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, I saw this one somewhere in the past couple of days and loved the story line. That cover is great, too.

Here's my Q:

fredamans said...

Sounds like a great story!

Anonymous said...

Any comparison to To Kill a Mockingbird is a winner in my book :)

Jess said...

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an interesting book.