Nubian Circle Book Club

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Sap Rising Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

Mystical and Enlightening!

Christine Lincoln's debut novel, Sap Rising, is rooted in the mystical, rural Grandville where the tales of its townspeople are captured in 12 intertwining short stories.  The sagas are told from varying viewpoints: fathers, grandmothers, young boys, nosey neighbors, teenaged girls, etc. and are rooted in themes of self-discovery, escapism, and hope.

All of the stories are symbolic and appealing, but a few that really struck this reviewer were the title story, "Sap Rising" and "A Very Close Conspiracy".   In "Sap Rising", we meet a very restless young woman, who runs away from the mediocrity of life as a homemaker in Grandville to the bright lights of the big city.  She returns home alone and with child in "Like Dove Wings" and her young daughter's plight is recounted in "A Hook Will Sometimes Keep You".   In "A Very Close Conspiracy", we meet the town drunk, who retraces his life, loves, and views as a black man as he succumbs to a fatal injury

The author demonstrates her depth and range of character development by taking the reader deep inside the psyches of Hiron, a man worn down by racism and poverty, the self-doubting Pontella who was abandoned by her mother, Ebbie, and the painful episodes of Boag's and Cinny's coming-of-age transformation. She paints a picture of the human condition and adds insight and emotion into each story. Ms. Lincoln is a great storyteller with a style akin to J. California Coopers yet distinctively her own. She has made her mark with a successful debut -- I am looking forward to her next release.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Sap Rising is 3.5 out of 5 stars. We welcome your comments and thoughts about this book review.  Please e-mail us at: