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on Sep. 19, 2012 :
"There are tunnels in the earth like in the imagination. They say that's how some of them got here. They didn't come through Ellis Island believe you me". Malaga Island was a sanctuary for people of different races. The people of the Island were very different than you and me and many were said to be slaves who were brought from across the sea. These people on the Island lived in harmony with each other. They took care of one another and shared what resources they had. They were in a sense one huge family. This was Malaga Island. This was paradise.
Professor Thaddeus Mallory arrives in Phippsburg, Maine feeling guilt and pain of a something that happened many years ago. Its June of 1912 he meets with Shirley Shapleigh, the former teacher of Malaga Island. He is here to see if the truth about supernatural powers are true of this Island and to seek answers to many questions he has heard about.
The writing in this book very much reminds me of the writings of Ernest Hemingway, it is very poetic and poignant as Shirley the former Island's teacher reads from the book of the history of Malaga Island. As Hemingway was able to spin a colorful, descriptive tale of how one lives and conducts themselves in every day activities so has S. L. Hemingway. He has put together a collection of short stories which will only make you ask yourself was it real or was this a folk tale? These stories are humorous, sad, painful and happy, but very imaginative.
One such story is of Tela and Auyan who were from different clans. Tela was pleasing to the eye, Auyan was a short, stocky ugly man with low brows, but they fell in love and were very happy. This story taught me to not judge what one looks like or if they may appear different from you, if you do so you may miss out on a forever happiness.
The Malaga Chronicles was to me magical as Hemingway weaves each story in the language of that period. This is a wonderfully written book of short stories about people who were unwanted in society. The people of the Island knew of love, kindness and patience. They understood the reality of life and hard work. Now the Governor wants to take away their home and again cast them aside, but can miracles happen? I would recommend this book to all who want to learn compassion. S.L Hemingway is a wonderful storyteller in this book of morality short stories. This is a must read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2012 :
Malaga Chronicles is more than a set of morality vignettes. It is a collection of thought provoking and insightful truths from the very core of our human-ness. Truth, history and fiction are woven together by author S. L. Hemingway such that the reader knows the truths even as they come to light in each chapter.
“They have learned patience, fortitude and integrity. If they have a task they do it and complete it. They don’t whine and make excuses. It is the secret to survival. I hope you’re ready for another story?” Former schoolmistress, Shirley Shapleigh, continues with the reading of a series of tales in a mysteriously-found book, keeping her guest intrigued with its fable-like stories and in no small part with the reader herself.
Her guest, one Professor Thaddeus Mallory has come to the town of Phippsburg, Maine, in the year 1912 to see for himself the exodus of that certain segment of its population that has been deemed “undesirable.” An outraged Ms. Shapleigh initially encounters him in a local shop (maybe not quite by chance), and then on the street when a young boy’s act of returning a book is mistaken for a personal attack on her person. What follows is the story of the people and incidents that have brought Mallory to Maine in the first place paralleled to the growing awareness of the unbidden feelings of Mallory and Ms. Shapleigh for each other as they explore uncharted territories of history, culture and emotion.
A wonderfully balanced setting of truth, pain, humor and reality Malaga Chronicles will leave the reader pondering the balance of nature and man and exactly what are the truths we live with. Especially helpful are the forward, the afterward and the bibliography that Hemingway provides to aid the reader with the historical references and significance of circumstances portrayed in the stories.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)