Standing at the Crossroads by Charles Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book as a Goodread's First Read from Permanent Press. Thank you!
First and foremost, this book was superbly written, in such a way that I felt as though I was reading a freely flowing poem rather than an novel. The narrator, an African man known only as The Barefoot Librarian, tells us early on that people have often told him "that I speak too formally, my language dated like the writers to whom it has been modeled", which is an excellent segue into the following text, doted with references to classic literature and life built around stories and the truths in fiction.
The main protagonists of this story are The Barefoot Librarian, and a white academic woman named Kate, both with different ideals and views of the world. The Barefoot Librarian chooses to see the world through the vast realm of stories he has read and collected over the years, while Kate seeks justice and pure truth. The differences that come about between these two, as they trek across dusty and war torn African lands, constantly walking the fine line between safety and the violent Warriors of God, were described in a way that made you feel like you were walking right behind them. It seems wrong to describe this story as beautiful, as it is not a hopeful and positive one, yet beautiful is the description that instinctively comes to mind.
This is a short read, and though a tiny bit slow due to the classically styled prose, it is a wonderful read.
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