This mad reader is mad! Not mad as in Ebonics mad but the English definition. I am irate. Bad books do that to me. I was at Target the other day looking for something interesting to read. I know, I know. What Mad Reader in her/his right mind goes to Target for their reading material? In my struggle to institute one stop shopping, I ended up at Target. If I hadn’t been distracted by the need to get toilet tissue, pull-ups and the sled my child has wanted since before this season’s  most wintry weather arrived, I wouldn’t have bought the book that makes this Mad Reader mad!

What is the name of the book? The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent. The title is undoubtedly attention getting for someone referred to as revolutionary heathen and other names of that sort. But I can’t find any degree of love for the daughter or any of the characters.

I had written notes about the book upon my initial read. Then the voice of a friend who has a penchant for nicknames mentally intruded and said tachamo (which, alongside dolphin and bubba, is what this friend sporadically calls me), you’re not giving the book a chance. So I stopped note-taking and continued reading.

But. Oh. My. God. If reading were to be suddenly made into a torture tactic employed by the cia, all the cia agents would need in their arsenal is this particular book.

Maybe it’s the result of my reading habits being deeply rooted in awareness that “people of color” are the majority of the human inhabitants of planet Earth. I want to learn their history, read their stories, absorb their lingua franca and then reciprocate by sharing my own.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that there’s almost nothing of me in this book. I find that too alienating to continue, let alone reciprocate. What could I reciprocate? That in this book, any vestiges of me reside only in the misshapen head of an enslaved African child and the notches on the narrator’s Uncle’s saddle; notches which indicate the number of indigenous people said uncle has killed.

Whatever the reason, 125 pages into a 332 page novel, this Mad Reader is throwing in the towel. It may be premature. I may find, if I continue to read, that the teenage narrator grows to have normal (read non-Puritan) powers of discernment and regrets being enamored of murderers…simply because they talk to you and call you daughter and tell stories in a way different from normal Puritan culture. It may be. It just may be. I’m can’t drum up enough interest to find out.


The same friend mentioned above  laughed when I told her my feelings about the book. She said that means the book was effective because it made me feel what the Puritans were like. Of course, I don’t like them ( the Puritans and/.or the characters in this book) but they weren’t likable people. The book does an admirable job in showing that. Their society seems tense and forbidding. The land of Jonathan Edwards and his Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God. So I will keep reading and give a final analysis so the Mad Reader can close the book on this particular read.

Share this post :

~ by Tichaona Chinyelu on January 10, 2010.

One Response to “Mad!!”

  1. this book really bothers you…doesn’t it? lol.

    i’m still laughing at your reaction and still hold the opinion that the writing must have been effective since it got you all riled up with disdain.

    (cheshire grin)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: