Monday, April 13, 2009

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

First of all, apologies for the tardy write up, this is the recap for our March 1st meeting

Published in 1940, this fiction novel written by a twenty-three year old woman from a small southern town still has a place for the modern reader. Ms. McCullers weaves a detailed tale of lost individuals in a hot, sleepy, southern town. She captures the strained race relations of that era in a tone that is still relevant. One character believes that if she just goes along with the way things are (not rocking the boat) that it will improve, or at least not get any worse. Her father is frustrated by this approach and spends his time 'teaching' his community. While his message is critical and correct, his delivery is too much for his community.

Many people in the town are drawn to Singer, a deaf man to whom the darkest secrets, wants and desires are told. He enjoys the company, is confused by these folks, but longs for his hospitalized friend.

This is not an upbeat, happy story and not intended to be such. We are deftly given the image of the restaraunt owner who is kind of a wet noodle, brow beaten by his much more assertive wife and then over time we are drawn into his life and what gives him purpose. This layering of characters is rich and enjoyable.