Friday, someone gave me a heads up that the last of Greg Isles Natchez trilogy had been out for a few months. Got to the library on Friday fifteen minutes before it closed and found it: “Mississippi Blood.” So, I thought, at around 7 AM Saturday morning I might just read the first chapter, then run errands, etc, do what I had to do, but truth is, it gripped me so much I didn’t move from the recliner until I had finished all 600+ pages at around 8PM that night.
This was the best of the series. The only complaint so far is that I don’t like the women with whom Penn Cage becomes romantically involved. I don’t mind assertiveness, stubbornness, or drive, but when it comes to pushy, no. Nevertheless, at the heart of the conflict was the affair his physician father, Tom Cage, had with his beautiful mulatto nurse, Viola, back in the sixties, and it was an affair of deep mutual true love. It was the situation of two really fine people who can’t help it when they fall deeply in love. Viola is one of the most tragic figures I’ve come across in any story and through all these books my heart has nearly broken for her, but never so much as in this one. Tom has been arrested for her murder and half of it focuses on his trial but it isn’t a courtroom drama. I don’t how much to tell you about it in case you want to read it, but I can tell you this. In the late sixties, after being viciously gang raped by a bunch of KKK adders, she ends the affair with Tom, and when she’s targeted again, he hides her and she goes to Chicago, marries a con artist and gives birth to Cage’s son. Cage stays with his wife and raises their children, but neither forget one another.
Won’t go into a lot of detail but there’s a line that seems to reverberate towards the end of the story about Cage and Viola’s very conflicted grown son…that he was the child of someone who had chosen “the hard path of duty and one who had chosen martyrdom.” And the choice that Tom ultimately makes near the end of the book and why…well, you’ll have to read it and see.
I usually feel a little lost after I read a fine book, partly from greed of wanting more.
Although it is very hot, found I was craving home made vegetable soup and made a pot yesterday. Also watched an old movie I always, liked, “Separate Tables.” And from there I watched, “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Meryl Streep’s performances, even when she’s playing different characters, are all beginning to look the same. It was almost like watching a musical version of Julia Child, and although a really good story that I enjoyed, I think Hugh Grant stole the picture from her. The last movie I saw with Streep, “Ricky and the Flash,” was just awful. And so was her performance. I suppose it can be said she is one of the finest actresses of her generation, but given what’s out there, is that very much to say? She doesn’t stand in a class by herself and I can really think of only one living actor today who does. She isn’t a Katharine Hepburn, nor a Vivien Leigh nor a Bette Davis. But I did enjoy this movie and its story but I enjoyed Hugh Grant’s screen time much more than hers.
Think I will request vacation time off mid-July. Really getting tired now.