Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Maids – G. Miki Hayden

G. Miki Hayden is one of my favorite writers. This should be no secret to those who have been faithful readers. There are two reasons that I love her writing. First, whether it’s action or description or dialogue, she’s always pitch perfect. Flawless. The stories I’ve read so far have been polished to a high sheen in every aspect. Anyway, enough. I’m a fan. The second reason...keep reading.

The Maids is found in one of the Year’s Best anthologies (5th edition with Edward G. Robinson on the cover in my version). It tells the story of two maids on a plantation in the Haiti of slavery times. The conflicts are multi-layered (wouldn’t expect less from Hayden) – slave/master, Catholic/Vodou, European/African, even male/female. One of the slaves, a devout Catholic who, however, has not really been taught much about Catholicism except what will benefit the masters, is tempted by another of the slaves to rebel against her masters. Whether she will rebel and what form her rebellion will take make up the crux of the story.

This is the hallmark of a Hayden story – you will be introduced to a world different than anything you will have imagined before and it will seem that the world you’ve entered is at least as real as the world you inhabit. The lead characters view of the world will become yours. That's a trick and a half.


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