Review: Everyman

Everyman Everyman by M Shelly Conner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has a flavor of Toni Morrison though with brevity and style that reminds me of Alice Walker (more Meridian than The Color Purple).  It also has a particularly interesting vibe when thinking about the story in the context of the last few years as well as the rise of DNA tracking.  Eve Mann is trying to find her roots, particularly her mother, Mercy. Raised by her aunt, Ann Man in the North in the 1960s and early 1970s, she has never been able to get from her the truth about her mom and much of her family. At 22, she sets off on a pilgrimage to go to the town in Georgia named, Ideal. The story is so very little about Eve going to find her family and more about the stories and experiences that led Eve to arrive there.  Conner weaves together these different threads into a tapestry that captures the power of racism, naming, and kin. It's definitely the kind of story that one finds themselves less interested in the overarching plot and more in the relations of people and the cascade effects decisions and views from generations ago impact how one moves through the world.  

In many ways, this novel is a rebuttal to rather than a reinterpretation to the famous "Everyman" play (a morality play of the 15th century) to which it appears named and modeled. Conner's work moves beyond the idea of the good deeds of men and their ascension to heaven and reflects the desperate and complicated measures the people must face--specifically Black people, in a culture that has time and again done harm to them. There is an impossibility of escaping some elements of complicity and that is something we all (like Eve) must face.  

View all my reviews

Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.