logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Helen-Oyeyemi
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-20 23:17
Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices
White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

Miranda Silver is in Dover, in the ground beneath her mother’s house.
Her throat is blocked with a slice of apple
(to stop her speaking words that may betray her)
her ears are filled with earth
(to keep her from hearing sounds that will confuse her)
her eyes are closed, but
her heart thrums hard like hummingbird wings.
Does she remember me at all I miss her I miss the way her eyes are the same shade of grey no matter the strength or weakness of the light I miss the taste of her I
see her in my sleep, a star planted seed-deep, her arms outstretched, her fists clenched, her black dress clinging to her like mud.
She chose this as the only way to fight the soucouyant.

 

With an opening like that, I couldn't help but be sucked into the book and it kept the weirdness and chills going for quite a while, and I was never sure what was real and what was imagined. There are some genuinely scary moments, and the whole feel of the book is very unsettling. This feeling is heightened by the multiple narrators whose voices switch mid-sentence with no warning. I was reminded of The Yellow Wallpaper and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but unlike those books, this one ultimately fizzled out.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-20 19:26
A feasting soucouyant?
White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

 

White is for witching, a colour to be worn so that all other colours can enter you, so that you may use them.

 

Creepy, intriguing, mysterious, frustrating, and melancholy, White is for Witching had a very strong start that sagged a bit in the middle and then ultimately puttered out into its own enigmatic mysteries.

 

Miranda can’t come in today Miranda has a condition called pica she has eaten a great deal of chalk—she really can’t help herself—she has been very ill—Miranda has pica she can’t come in today, she is stretched out inside a wall she is feasting on plaster she has pica try again:

 

To me, the house (and any real or imagined non-human inhabitants) is the sun with Miranda being Mercury, her twin brother Eliot as Venus, and their father Earth. Secondary characters such as a friend Miranda makes at college called Ore would be a moon of Mercury and the housemaid Sade could be a comet. This is an odd way to place the characters but I don't want to spoil too much of the story but still give an idea of the story's placement of characters.

 

The way this story is written and structured is different, povs from mainly Miranda, Eliot, and the house (yes, the house has a pov), flow in and out with blips from Sade, Ore, and maybe a couple other minor ones I am forgetting. You need to be on your game to fully understand who is talking but even then, things can get confusing with possible unreliable narrators and not knowing what is real and mental health issues.

 

The horror of the story is that there is a house that is possibly haunted, maybe by a soucouyant (a witch in Caribbean folklore), maybe by a curse on the female line of a family, and maybe simply a daughter that lost her mother and is spiraling down a mental health destructive hole. This story centers on women, their strengths and weaknesses; Eliot plays a good sized role but he is still clearly on the sidelines along with his father who is ineffectual in his drowning grief for his wife.

 

They were naked except for corsets laced so tightly that their desiccated bodies dipped in and out like parchment scrolls bound around the middle. They stared at Miranda in numb agony. Padlocks were placed over their parted mouths, boring through the top lip and closing at the bottom. Miranda could see their tongues writhing.

 

The beginning had me captured with Eliot leading us into the story about how his mother died and how his sister is withering away because she seems only able to eat chalk. From Eliot's point of view it seems more like a mental health issue with occasional povs from the house and Miranda popping in to make you believe in the shiver going up your spine. The middle starts to transition to more of Miranda's point of view, her struggles with her mental health and the house, along with looks at Miranda's female ancestors.

 

When Miranda leaves the house for a little while is when the story started to lose me a bit. Sade and Ore get added to the story, I thought Ore was too late of an additive and even though she brought an outside look and probably worked to more definitively answer the mental health or truly haunted question, I missed the atmosphere of the house and Eliot with Miranda.

 

I’m to go home. The house wants me,” she cried. The moonlight made her look blue. It made her look as if she was dead. She opened my window and sat herself on the ledge; she dangled her bare legs over it. We were four floors up.

 

I don't know how many have watched the tv series The Leftovers but this story gave me the same kind of feelings. Majorly intriguing start, with questions, mysteries, and interesting characters everywhere, only to maybe out write themselves and end up leaving a lot up in the air in a way that devalues the story.

 

As far as giving you the heebie jeebies, this will definitely do it, some scenes had me looking hard into dark corners in my house. As far as the characters sticking with me, probably not, as they didn't quite become fully fleshed out to me. I do know I would love to see this made into a limited series, Netflix get on that, the psychomanteum room scenes would be chilling good.

 

That was the first and last time I’ve heard my own voice.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-19 02:34
Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices
White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

“I think Poe's quite good, actually. The whole casual horror thing. Like someone standing next to you and screaming their head off and you asking them what the fuck and them stopping for a moment to say 'Oh you know, I'm just afraid of death' and then they keep on with the screaming.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-18 12:54
Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices
White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

“Dear Miranda Silver,
This house is bigger than you know! There are extra floors, with lots of people in them. They are looking people. They look at you, and they never move. We do not like them. We do not like this house, and we are glad to be going away. This is the end of our letter.”

 

Welp! I don't like the house either.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-17 00:16
Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices
White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there's the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by  Miranda's father. Dover has long been known for its hostility towards outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.

 

Yikes! I get the impression this is going to get very weird, very quickly.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?