Sunday, July 29, 2012


"This novel A CLAY JAR MARKED FOR MIRACLES by AWUSHIE SOGAH is fantastic. The cover gave me no idea about what I would read in the novel. The painting on the cover made me think the story would be a very light, very easy and very short novella to read. My thoughts were wrong. As I turned each page of the novel the story deepened. I would say AWUSHIE SOGAH's novel is a Family saga, a coming of age story and the difficulties or ease of  becoming a part of different cultures and the story American, European and African History. Tzipporah and her family live in Prince George County, Baltimore, Maryland. At one point the family  lives in Paris, France. They also visit Ghana, Africa. It is amazing how one world, one earth can differ so much from one place to the next place. With eyes opened there are crafts to admire, people never to be forgotten and the hateful sting of discrimination to adjust to in the most beautiful and well known countries. AWUSHIE SOGAH quotes Albert Einstein. "There are two ways to live your life...One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a..."

What really made me love the book is Tzipporah's grandmother, Memaw. She knows all of the family's history. She never grows tired of recounting the good times and the hard times. Whenever Tzipporah runs into adult sized problems, the real hot, scorching problems in her life which no woman should ever experience she can talk to Memaw. There is a reason Tzipporah doesn't run to her parents with her problems. Their issues have complicated the way this family connects with one another."Your grandmother has been your saving grace. As for me, Tzipporah, I was wrapped up in myself back then. I thought deeply about problems never picking up and disappearing when not dealt with properly. These painful issues were smothered in the pit of the stomachs of both Eudora and her husband. One day he tells his wife I'm feeling lonely in the skin. Memaw does not allow Tzipporah to disrespect her parents. After all, they gave Tzipporah the greatest gift of all, the gift of life.

Since this is a Family saga about a grandmother who knew the importance of passing down family stories, there are many treasures to read about in the novel. One of the treasures is the clay jar. I felt the treasures were passed from woman to woman leaving me to think at and wonder at the strong ties a generation of women can hold for years and years even beyond the grave. There is Eudora's mother. There is Eudora. There is Memaw. There is Tzipporah. There is Solarah, the daughter of Tizpporah. Reading about their lives is like layers of rock upon another bed of rocks. Pull one woman away from this generational saga and the whole story of their lives would cave in to become bits of rubble.Studying their lives is like a lesson in Geology. The ending of the novel is like beginning their story over again because Solarah finds a very special memoir. The novel is full of untold and told secrets."Suddenly, as on may previous occasions, a forgotten memory suddenly invited itself into..." It's full of romantic love and family love. It's full of injustice and justice. Most of all it's about a place, Africa, the home where most of our lives began before we ever reached Barbados, England or South Carolina and other places on the map. The book is filled with African History that brought tears of sadness and joy to my eyes. A Clay Jar Marked For Miracles is about going home. She made me proud to have come from Africa. "The drum speaks in tongues of many nations. This is an African drum...It was Black Africa that provided humanity with a pulse - a rhythm - a heartbeat. If you kill off all blackness, you will kill off...."

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