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The Indigo Glass
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The Indigo Glass (Paperback)

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THE INDIGO GLASS: SUMMARY Berenice came back to the present and wondered if her life really began the day she was born in Mackenzie, (one of the three villages - the other two being Wismar and Christenburg - that made up the town now called Linden in Guyana) and she took her first breath. Or did her life start that day their father walked out on them? From her favourite spot in her living room, she can hear the different voices in her neighbourhood. Her house is sandwiched between two face-me-I-face-you buildings. The walls separating the buildings are so thin that she can hear her neighbours sneeze. Her radio is on but it does not cut out some of these voices. Berenice lives alone. Bebi and Beni, her children, are in England. The house belongs to Morak, her husband, but he does not live there. He lives somewhere else with Labo, his second wife who is from Nigeria. Modu is the only member of the family with whom she's still in contact. Berenice cut ties with the other in-laws when her marriage broke down. She believes that they showed preference for Labo because she is one of them. She is not happy with her present abode.

She cheers up only when Lene, the only friend she's left with in Lagos, visits. Lene comes over from Ilupeju, an up-market zone in the city. Berenice enjoys her friend's visit but seeing Lene in all her finery dampens Berenice's spirit. She too would like to have in her life a man who would look after her. She looks into the future to see how she can be in charge of her destiny and make power change hands. Once upon a time, she and Mama, her mother-in-law, were close - so close that Berenice used to go with Mama to consult the diviners. She decides to pay a visit to her mother-in-law to renew their friendship moreso since Morak, her husband has been telling her that his mother keeps asking after her. She goes to Mama's house and meets Shalewa and Bolu, the two children borne by Labo. Mama does not introduce the children to her but presents Berenice to them as their 'Mummy'. Berenice is confused. The stories and proverbs her mother-in-law narrates makes Berenice more perplexed. She believes that her husband uses his 'cunning-cunning' ways to get her to call on his mother. She invites Morak to Itedo for lunch. He tells Berenice that his life has turned upside down.

He explains how Labo developped mental problems and how much he needs Berenice to go through his trying period. He begs her to take in Shalewa and Bolu since Mama is too old to look after them. Berenice insists that his mother should be involved in the matter before she gives her consent. A family meeting on the matter takes place in Mama's house. Mama intervenes and Berenice agrees that the children live with her. Morak calls at Itedo from time to time. He feels uncomfortable in Berenice's company. Modu comes to see Berenice with a word from Mama that Berenice should come for an important message. Morak comes that fateful evening to see Berenice and the children. He asks for a loan to pay his rent which he claims is overdue. She thinks of what to do to get her life back from him. Two days after this visit, Morak disappears. His body is found under a bridge in a dodgy area in Lagos. Berenice decides to return to Guyana via England. But first she must be cleared by the police. Berenice makes a visit to the morgue to have a chat with Morak. She takes some selected pictures along.

She tells the body of how Mama has delivered the orisa's message that she should return to Guyana to atone the disturbed spirit of her family totem. And then one by one she picks the pictures and describes to the cadaver the times she had shared with him. She feels no bitterness. She believes that he had to die for her to get her life back. The Itedo house has to be sold to settle Morak's debts. She finishes packing her bags. One by one, she counts the items she needs for the sacrifice but there is a very important item missing. She does not know the name of the angry family totem. Neither does she know who she can get it from in Guyana. Well she must go back there and start from the very beginning.

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Publication Date: 05/09/2011 ISBN-13: 9781908481450  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

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