Friday, January 15, 2010


Book: Victoire - My Mother's Mother
Author:  Maryse Conde

Maryse Conde's personal journey of discovery & revelation becomes ours as we learn of Victoire, her white-skinned mestiza grandmother who worked as a cook for the Walbergs, a family of white Creoles, in the French Antilles.

This is a very interesting book... had me intrigued, confused, but drawn in. 

Conde researches her grandmother & the story that is her history is interesting.  It takes you back to a time where people's rights are not what they are today & where the abuse of women is normal & nothing to blink an eye at.

We see Victoire & how she is brought into the world, how she stands out from everyone else due to the color of her skin & how her grandmother loved & raised her.  We then see the journey of Victoire's life & the different paths it takes, good & bad... & ultimately leads to the birth of Conde's own mother.

Honestly, parts of this story sickened me at the way people were original treated & how belittled they were.  And I did find parts of the story hard to keep up with, only because it was originally written in French & this book is translated by Richard Philcox.  There are whole paragraphs that are still in French, so I was lost at these sections.  Even phrases used or certain words in French had me a little confused.  I even had to keep a sheet next to me with the names written down because they were so confusing & it was easy for me to get people mixed up...Dernier, Danila, Fulgence, Gaetane, Caldonia... all samples of names in the book...

If you are interested in history, you will appreciate this book.  And if you want to check it out further, or interested in purchasing it, check this link:

My rating: 2 skeins... & this is just because I had such a hard time with the names & the language.  The story was a 3 skein, but the whole package, for me, made it a little harder to enjoy. 

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