Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Redemption in Indigo: A Novel by Karen Lord


Redemption in Indigo is the third of four books I chose to read in preparation for the Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival which, by the way, starts today!!! I’m glad I didn’t skip it which I thought about doing to read Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique, but I’ll get to in the next few weeks. I was not familiar with Karen Lord before learning that she’s attending the festival. The author was born in Barbados and resides there now.  

When the story opens, Paama has left her gluttonous husband Asinge and returned to the home of her parents. Asinge goes to her village to bring her back, but his self-indulgent actions lead to a series of blunders that leave the people of Paama’s village applauding her for leaving her foolish husband. Unbeknownst to Paama and Asinge, Asinge’s actions are being manipulated by spirits.


Meanwhile, the spirit Indigo Lord loses his power, chaos, as punishment for past actions. Indigo Lord becomes upset when other spirits tell him that his power has been given to a human. Indigo Lord wants his power back and sets out to find the person who has received it. After doing sloppy research, Indigo Lord mistakenly concludes that his power was given to Paama’s sister when, in fact, the power has been given to Paama in the form of a Chaos Stick.  

The situation comes to an anticlimactic plateau, but things remain interesting as Indigo Lord learns that taking back his power is not as simple as taking away the Chaos Stick. So he kidnaps Paama and the journey of him convincing her to return his power begins. During their time together, Paama has a revelation about her husband’s actions that leads her back to him.

The book contains countless other characters and we don’t get to know any of them intimately. Some exit the story as quickly as they enter. But that doesn’t distract from the huge lessons packaged in the tiny chapters. With the simplicity of the delivery and the fable-like quality, a seasoned reader doesn’t have to be attentive to catch most things. I even double-checked to make sure this wasn’t a young adult book.

Redemption in Indigo was a fun and quick read. Although I’m learning to appreciate speculative fiction, I must say, I’m not a fan of some aspects. Spirits occupying the body of animals, which I also observed in The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson is a bit of a distraction to me. Since I’m new to the genre, I’m not sure if that’s par for the course, but I hope to avoid this type of theme in future. I looked at Lord’s other novels and I’m not sure I’d enjoy them as much as this one. That may change after I attend her book reading on Friday. She and Nalo Hopkinson are doing a session together!

“And yet, as the undying ones know and as humans too often forget, even chaos cannot overcome the power of choice.”  
Redemption in Indigo

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