Thursday, October 27, 2016

White is for Witching

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Author: Helen Oyeyemi

Publisher: Doubleday, 2009

Pages: 227

Genre: paranormal, horror

Obtained: library

Summary: Miranda Silver and her twin brother Eliot lost their mother.  Their father, Luc, is devastated by this loss as are the twins.   Miranda blames herself for her mother's death.  Also, Miranda's pica (eating disorder where she consumes inedible things) is getting worse.  Then Miranda disappears. Where did she go?  We get three perspectives from three different narrators as to what may have happened to her.

Thoughts:  Strange.  If I had to describe this book in one word, that's what it would be.  There is good strange and bad strange.  I think this was a little of both.
     The house was a narrator and character in the story.  This was a good strange to me.  Imagine everything a house could see and hear.  I thought this aspect was just kind of cool.  Also, the author blended real horrors (mental illness / pica, xenophobia, murder) with paranormal horrors (ghosts, houses that are alive) - very clever!
     The bad strange to me was that the book was written in a way, that at times, it was hard to figure out who was narrating the story.  With the story jumping from narrator to narrator, this sometimes disrupted the flow.  Also, it was written in a dreamlike way so that it was hard to tell what was actually happening and what was just imagination.  
     This novel can probably be interpreted in many different ways.  I am assuming the author did this on purpose.  I enjoy literal stories best, so this wasn't a great book for me, but there was a cleverness here that I really liked, along with underlying themes and some depth. Also, the author made me think, which is always a good thing.  This would make a fantastic book club book.  Just the question- What really happened to Miranda?- would make for a great discussion!


Company: Perkse

Tea: Apple Crisp

Obtained: purchased


     I wanted to try something new this month, so I did an online search for "unique tea blends" and came across Perkse.  Their website has herbal, black, white, oolong, and rooibus tea blends.  I ordered a tea sampler.  They send six different tea samples with 20 tea filters.  The customer can pick the 6 samples, or Perkse will send 6 of their best selling blends.  I opted for the best selling blends.  The cost is $14.99 + shipping.  I ordered my tea on October 4th.  The website says they have same day shipping if ordered by 4pm.  I ordered before 4pm.  On October 12th, I emailed the company because I expected the tea within 5 days and when I tried to track my order, it stated the order was being prepared for shipping.  I got a quick response back with an apology and explanation that it sometimes takes a long time for delivery when shipping over the Canadian border.  Perkse is located in Canada and I am in the United States.  I received the tea on October 19th.  I did receive an email from Eugene Kim, I believe the owner, of Perkse following up to make sure I got the order.  This email came on the 20th.  The package was postmarked October 11th.  Hmmmm...
     The tea came in 6 individual, brightly colored, good quality, resealable bags.  I decided that the first sample I would try would be Apple Crisp.  The package was easy to open, but there were no ingredients or brewing recommendations listed.  I went to the website for more information.  This blend was not on the site.  I brewed it, treating it like an herbal tea.  It was delicious!  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available to order more.  I emailed Eugene Kim asking him why it was not on the site, but have not gotten an answer.  This was a week ago, so I don't expect a response.  I looked to see if the other samples are available for order.  Only two of the six samples are currently on the Perkse website.
     Since the Apple Crisp was not available, I have decided to do a review on the Elderberry Blossom tea, which can currently be ordered.

Company: Perkse

Tea: Elderberry Blossom

Obtained: purchased


          Elderberry Blossom is a black tea with elderberries, cranberries, blackberries, safflower petals, lime leaf, and natural flavors added.  The leaves were medium in length (for tea leaves).  Most were black, but there were some red, white, and yellow leaves mixed in.  I did not see any berries, but could smell them along with a floral scent.  The scent of the tea leaves was very strong.  I poured 8 ounces of water over 1 teaspoon of leaves and let this steep for 3 minutes.  The liquid was a brownish orange and had a scent similar to the leaves, but not as strong.  The taste was a berry / floral combination.  There was no astrigency to this tea.  It has a slight sweetness to it.  This was a light and refreshing tea.
     Perkse has some unique tea blends, that are enjoyable, but it seems that the customer can't always get what they want when they want it.....


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