Last Friday night I came home from work and found The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-Smith in my mailbox. I had selected this book from Review the Book based on the out of the ordinary synopsis. I decided to pick the book up after supper and read a little before bedtime; at least that was the plan. This book captured me from the start and would not let me go. I kept looking for a stopping point, a place I could relax and take a breath, set it down and go to sleep, but there was none. I was physically attached to the characters and the prose and I could not stop until it was over, at 4:30 am. The last time a book took hold of me this way was a long time ago. And I have delayed writing this review because I have not wanted to scrutinize why this story touched me the way it did. But, review it I must.
Melody Bennet's beloved Grandmama Giselle dies and leaves her one last request. She is to take her grandmother's ashes to New Orleans, have them blessed by a Voodoo Priestess and spread them on Bear Bayou. Melody has lived her entire life in North Carolina with no awareness of her family history on the Bayou, the culture or practice of Voodoo or of any living relatives on the Bayou. What she finds is more than she bargained for and changes everything in her life forever.
This book is steeped in mystery, spirituality, lessons, love, loss and traditions. It makes you question your assessment of Voodoo and other religions and I kept wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. It has led me on a quest for more information. And, I've had a wonderful conversation with the author herself who I have found open and delightful to talk to. I have already questioned her about more books to come and as I had guessed, this is the first book in a series so look for more great reading to come.
I see that I still have not told you why this book affected me in such a way, and this I cannot answer. You must read it for yourself, and see if it reaches up for you. But beware; you may want to wait till Saturday morning to start it!