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This book was excellent. To truly enjoy this novel one must sit back and place him/herself as though he or she was also sitting in the room as this woman tells her story. Though there may be a few places that are not geographically correct, the author never states that this is Barbados , but Bimshire. The way Mathilda tells this story is as a woman with so much to tell and has been waiting for the opportunity to find someone with whom she can share all of this information. Though the story would seem very nonchalant and insignificant, there are quite a few subtleties that capture the readers attention.
I am in the 60's to 70's age group, and I was looking forward to reading this book, but I was dreadfully disappointed. I found it exceedingly boring, abrasive and vulgar. I live in Barbados and I found many errors (place names etc.) in this book. I have read other works by Austin Clarke and enjoyed them. Not so "The Polished Hoe".
I loved this book. It is beautifully written, and the story is enthralling. It strays a lot from the main plot, though, so it should be read with patience - devour every word.
- Joy, 16
The book was good. I really enjoyed reading it. I wish iI could meet Clarke himself. I thought the end was interesting when she <<edited for plot spoiler content>>. You need patientce to read the book.
Ah... Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston... my favorite book.
I listened to a review of The Polished Hoe on CBC radio. A Kingston book club (a group of young, apparently well-educated people) was reviewing it, and gave it a miserable rating. And then came the call-in. Men and women of all ages and stature. The consensus was positive, I bought the book, and I LOVED it.
It's beautifully told. But it's not for everyone.
The minute I saw Austin Clarke interviewed on PBS television, I ordered two copies; one for myself and one for my friend who is the President of my history club and an Island Man. I have more than a passing interest in the comparisons and contrasts between what happened to
African Americans here and the ones who where taken to the Carribean. Austin Clarke,s novel was spellbinding. One, the story was told by a women and number two, it validates for me the horrors that Women of the diaspora suffered. This story needed to be told and I am glad that I can now connect even more with women of the diaspora.
I thought that hearing about the novel's major relationships in the 2nd hand robbed the book of some of its power. Clarke took on an immense job conveying the story of a Barbadian "kept" woman on a plantation in the post-colonial era. There have been many disturbing revelations thus far and I cannot wait to reach the conclusion.
My novel is a part of an English assignment, I chose a link between the Polished Hoe and Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I heartily recommend.
In hindsight, I believe there was a better link between Faulkner and Austin Clark, I have already read A Light In August. Themes about the effects of colonialism, Caribbean life and Black communities are of great interest to me.
The story rambled on too long . I just about dispared of ever finding out if she murdered te guy. Too much information that had nothing to do with the story.