Title- The Perishing
Author– Natashia Deon
Rating– 4/5 stars until the 80% mark, then 3 stars for the end, so my math says 3.75 stars
Genre- a unique mix of fantasy with contemporary with historical fiction with futuristic with women’s fiction
POV- a mix depending on which life she was leading and which year it was
Triggers- racism theme
Similar Books/Comps– a mix between the vibes of two others I recently read: “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones and “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig.
My emotions- inspired then confused. The emotions of the characters felt a bit dry but I like the philosophical vibe and quote worthy concepts.
Lou, a young Black woman, wakes up in an alley in 1930s Los Angeles with no memory of how she got there or where she’s from. Taken in by a caring foster family, Lou dedicates herself to her education while trying to put her mysterious origins behind her. She’ll go on to become the first Black female journalist at the Los Angeles Times, but Lou’s extraordinary life is about to take an even more remarkable turn. When she befriends a firefighter at a downtown boxing gym, Lou is shocked to realize that though she has no memory of meeting him, she’s been drawing his face for years.
Increasingly certain that their paths previously crossed—and beset by unexplainable flashes from different eras haunting her dreams—Lou begins to believe she may be an immortal sent here for a very important reason, one that only others like her can explain. Setting out to investigate the mystery of her existence, Lou must make sense of the jumble of lifetimes calling to her, just as new forces threaten the existence of those around her.
Immersed in the rich historical tapestry of Los Angeles—Prohibition, the creation of Route 66, and the collapse of the St. Francis Dam—The Perishing is a stunning examination of love and justice through the eyes of one miraculous woman whose fate seems linked to the city she comes to call home.
Sometimes the fragmented writing was distracting and jolting.
I was completely hooked from the first page. Why does First Husband not have a name? Why were all six of her husbands murdered? By who? How is she 170ish years old? So many questions!
Page 6- so hopefully the dates don’t get too confusing. The first chapter is headlined as year 2102 but she’s talking about years 1948, 1956, & 2008. But then the second chapter is headlined as 1887.
Page 9- so Sarah was 7 in last chapter. She talked about her First Granddaddy & her mother being age 23. But then right when the next chapter starts, Sarah is informing the reader about First Husband being age 13. My brain isn’t great with numbers so I can see myself easily messing all this up and losing track.
Part 1 starting on page 29 is interesting. I’m trying to get into the flow because the prose are beautifully written but keep getting thrown all over in timelines.
Page 83- such a creative and intriguing idea. Love it
Page 208- confused
Page 222- deep but cryptic. Not entirely sure what she’s describing
Page 231- what’s happening? Did I miss something? Lol
“There is nothing natural about a body that does not carry its scars.”
“Can you imagine thinking that writing could change the world?”
“His children pocket their tears and let them overflow back inside themselves, drowning while standing.”
“No good thing is destroyed. Things are just liberated from the shadows.”
“People who ask for advice ask because they don’t want to take full responsibility for their decisions.”
I loved the author’s story telling talent and this theme of life and death. It’s sad that the social issues being represented in 1930 are the same ones still present in 2021
What I’d change-
The ending/resolution was confusing and I came out of it not really understanding the premise of the time travel/immortality and what actually happened during the climax and why