Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quicksand by Marilyn Randall

Imagine that you're sitting in a large overstuffed chair in a comfortable room.  An older lady is sitting in another chair across from you.  As you sip your tea and munch on cookies, you say, 'Tell me about your greatest love.'  The woman goes to a shelf on the side of the room and removes a large ornate box.  Upon returning to her seat, she opens the box, revealing several papers.  As she begins to speak, you find yourself in a different world.

This book is the story of Natalie, a white woman in her 60's and Randy, a large black man in his 50's.  After Natalie buries her husband, she begins looking for love on the internet and finds Randy.  As soon as they meet, they know that it's a love beyond anything they've ever known and they must be together.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the story as Natalie tells it. 

As I began this book, I was confused.  I started noticing behaviors in the characters that were less than perfect.  Of course, this makes them realistic, but for being such a grand love story, I found myself confused at all of the issues between them and how quickly they were set aside.  It's difficult to explain until you read it.  I was under the impression that this was a fictionalized story of the author's own life, and it very well could be, but at the gritty end, I find that it is indeed fiction and all of my worries for the author were unfounded. 

Each chapter starts out with a poem that is written in regards to what is going on in that chapter.  Most of them are beautifully verse and it's quite worth the purchase price of the book just for the poetry.  If you're not a poet or  poetry lover, however, you can easily skip through the poems and simply read the story. 

At the core of this story is the interracial issues that the couple share.  Not only do they have outside influences such as family and friends, they find that they have differences in their expectations and treatments of each other.  Natalie attributes this to their being of different colors, but most couples deal with the same issues. We all come from different backgrounds and must learn to coexist.

Though in the beginning I found myself confused about why the couple were together, by the time I reached the end of the book I was in love.  The way Natalie tells the story is that of a woman in love who is happy to take part of the blame for the issues and do her best to make excuses for her partner.  She becomes a confused, lovable part of your life that you hate to lose when the book ends.  Though the cover of the book kind of scared me off, this book should definitely not be judged by it's cover.  There is a truely wonderful story hidden inside.

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