Monday, November 25, 2013

Shadow Tag Written by: Louise Erdrich

Hello readers, have you ever heard a tune and knew just knew this song will not have a happy ending? That is how Shadow Tag the audio version begins. We begin on a day in November, Irene America is a mother of three children two boys and a girl and she is quite the descriptive woman. Irene is the wife of an successful artist whom is handsome and she is beautiful they have a wonderful home and live an artist life. But, it seems readers looks can be quite deceiving, what appears to be a loving marriage filled with passion it seems is without trust. Irene has discovered that her husband Gil, has been reading her diary, and to Irene this is the last straw the break in her trust, she is Gil’s muse his subject matter in all of his art she bares her body, soul, and life to the world through Gil’s paintings. And yet, Gil wants more he wants to be inside of his wife’s  very mind, and to prove she’s keeping a secret affair from him. So, Irene begins to keep a secret Blue Notebook, she has stashed this book safely in a safe-deposit box. There Irene records the truth about her life and marriage. But, Irene continues to write inside of her Red Diary where she knows Gil will find it and turns this Diary into a manipulative piece of work. Both Irene and Gil are trying to keep up appearances for their three children, but their home is becoming a place of increasing violence and the children are noticing these events more and more. Irene it seems is turning more and more to alcohol and it seems is bent on her own destruction. This readers is a sad tale, it’s written quite poetically but it is just sad when you see these stories over and over again. Both Gil and Irene are clearly lost individuals and need help, but it appears they don’t know how to even admit that to themselves, there is a lot of blame going on and a lot of denial and a whole lot of lies. This story was so frustrating too readers, the relationship Gil and Irene has is almost text book in the abuse and failed attempts to heal a broken relationship. This book also brings a bit of the Native American culture and questions of identity into the mix as well as the struggle with coming from a rough background and trying to realize that it is okay now we can be happy now we can move on… So many people I know readers never realize when it is okay to just be to just accept the good when you have had a life full of so much disappointment and so much pain it becomes a part of you. So, when that pain is gone when it’s not part of the now, how do you separate it from you? That pain, that life before the one you created for yourself is who made you whom you are today, so how does someone survive that and just leave it all behind? Perhaps you don’t have physical scars from these events and perhaps you don’t share them with the world, but they’re there and they were you at one point, and sometimes we pass that pain on. We’re following Irene, but this muse, this wife, this mother has a lot to overcome and yet she can’t let go of Gil and Gil refuses to let go of her after all he loves her. Narrated by Coleen Marlo whom really brought this story to life and gave Irene such a real voice and all the characters a life of their own...I especially loved her becoming unhinged Irene voice. Not exactly the tale of family one usually wishes to read before the Thanksgiving Holiday, but it does put some things in life into perspective readers. Erdrich really created a good and uneasy read that was quite graphic and hits a lot of issues right on the head.

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