Reviews - What do customers think about Pressions: Memoirs of a Southern Cat : A Novel?
I may be in love with Edith Holmes Aug 27, 2006
This is one of the most accurate pictures of life in the "New South" that I've ever read. The setting is Georgia, on both sides of the tracks, and the story spans roughly 20 years in the lives of a number of unforgettable characters.
Caterina is a socialite and potentially the First Lady of Georgia. Annie Lou is the mainstay of her sharecropper family, and also of her part of the community. These two ladies seem so different, but they share a friendship which, no doubt, would be frowned upon by many on both sides of the tracks.
To express the above paragraph another way, this book takes an honest look at racism in all its many shades and hues. I grew up in the New South, then attended an all-black college even though I'm white. Next, I managed a Latino hog farm where I was the only English speaker, and finally I moved to China. Racism is a subject I know. This book showed me that I don't know everything yet.
The plot is juicy. Intrigue, secrets, lies, adultery, marriages that succeed and marriages that fail, oppression, power plays, political politics and sexual politics, racism, and all the other goodies we know go on just below the surface. A few extra goodies you might not expect, such as bipolar disorder, a coma patient, and a hint of the psychic. Plus, a wonderful history lesson that will intrigue and enlighten, and a natural weaving of the past with the present. You can read it at that surface level and lose yourself for a few very enjoyable hours.
But, I didn't read it like that. Well, I did read it like that, but at the same time I didn't read it like that. The author has put so much into this novel that it would be a shame to miss any of it. Plot, characterization, description, and a real gift for the English language. This book gives you much to feel, and to think about, long after you finish reading it. Savor it. Then reflect upon it.
From the depths of the soul, heart and mind are truths. Nov 19, 2005
What astonishes the reader most when reading the debut novel by Edith M Holmes is that it is in fact a debut novel. The words are lyrical and will permanently ingrain themselves into your soul. Regardless of where you feel you are on the topic of reparations for the descendants of the slaves in America, you will at a minimum have a strong desire to do some serious research after you have finished this outstanding novel.
Told most predominantly, in the voices and minds of four Southern Cats, The many families this saga focuses on are some of the most believable literary characters I have ever met, in some very everyday,( yet rarely talked about in polite company) circumstances. I laughed out loud, cried and blushed. I got angry and worried for, people that I had to keep reminding myself , exit on paper. The likelihood that at this very moment there are people such as these, made it all the more realistic. "Presions incorporates historical fact, the struggling memory of a comatose patient and the diligent journalizing of a psychiatric patient. It brings to question who is crazy and who simply is gifted beyond the "norm. It evaluates the effectiveness of the Emancipation Proclamation and makes you re-think the causes and effects of federalized systems and states rights that are in existence now. What I had long believed in regards to separate but equal and desegregation were challenged as well.
Edith Holmes forced me to investigate topics that are largely kept out of the media and out of common everyday dialogue. Pressions ia mesmerizing, challenging, thought provoking and had me so engrossed that I did little else while reading but take down notes of things I wanted to look further into. It is entertaining and will make a Oscar contender screen play that only the most inept screenwriter can possibly mess up. From the late 1800's to present day it uncovers dirty secrets, treachery , lust and love. It will challenge the boundaries of social mores. I pray that a sequel is forthcoming and patiently await the next masterpiece by author, Edith M Holmes. She is worthy of a Pulitzer and Nobel Laureate. I highly recommend reading this book and plan to give out several copies as gifts. This is truly a mesmerizing and provocative book!!! Reviewer Silver Fox
Passion and drama from the Deep South. Sep 7, 2004
A beautiful and badly traumatized Jane Doe has been lying in a New York hospital in a coma for three years. Unable to reach the patient and afraid of losing her forever, her doctor tries an unconventional method to bring her back from the darkness. He turns to a mysterious patient with psychic abilities known as Sylvia to try and reach the comatose woman. Using her unique abilities Sylvia is able to invade the darkness of the coma and communicate telepathically with the unknown woman. What Sylvia discovers is that the Jane Doe is actually none other than Caterina Christiana Ford, the very wealthy and powerful First Lady of Georgia. Sylvia must break through the pain and scattered memories of Caterina to find out how and why such a prestigious Southern belle is laying unclaimed in a New York hospital. As her telepathic sessions get underway with Caterina, Sylvia soon learns that she isn't the only one with special abilities communicating with her. Someone from Caterina's past is also invading the dark recesses of her mind.
Annie Lou is a proud African American woman who has fought most of her life for the fair treatment of her people in their small Georgia town. Annie Lou knows that the more things change the more they stay the same, especially in the Deep South, a place that is often reluctant to change. She and the women in her family have always worked for Caterina and her kin. It is during these years of servitude that Annie Lou learned of injustices bestowed upon the Blacks in the Georgia. Although Caterina is a woman of privilege, Annie Lou develops a close and loving relationship with her that lasts for decades. However, there is a connection between the two women that was forged decades ago in secrecy that still haunts them in the present.
Sylvia, Annie Lou and Caterina all find themselves on an extraordinary journey to uncover truths to secrets that can heal as well as destroy families, even the future of Georgia. How did Caterina end up in a hospital in a coma so far away from those who love her? What secrets are locked away in her mind that are so painful to confront that they could destroy her road to recovery? What secret does Annie Lou and Caterina share that could bring down the political career of a top Georgia official? Can Sylvia help Caterina battle her demons to save herself and those she love?
In 'PRESSIONS: MEMOIRS OF A SOUTHERN CAT, author Edith Holmes has woven together a complex tale of mystery, passion and drama. She brings to life the troubled history and legacy of the Deep South and how holding on to traditional attitudes can prevent social, economic and spiritual growth to its sons and daughters. A story that spans generations, social and racial backgrounds, 'PRESSIONS: MEMOIRS OF A SOUTHERN CAT is a saga in the true tradition of the great southern dramas that readers have come to know.
Reviewed by L. Raven James of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
The TRUTH Jul 15, 2004
`PRESSIONS REVIEW DISILGOLD Magazine
"Pressions: Memoirs of a Southern Cat is remarkably one of the most exciting novels of the millennium. It is filled with deeply embedded mystery, and the most beguiling uninhibited secrets of a lady's past southern history and family background that has her running for her life until the tragic day she winds up in a coma, and answering to a Clairvoyant Psychic who may be able to help her reveal more hidden truths. There is an element of magic, and surrealism that is original and breathtaking."
Discover the secret past of Caterina, also know as CAT, who somehow winds up in a coma. She desperately tries to regain memories of her past with the help of Sylvia, a renowned psychic in hiding. No one knows who did this to CAT. Her past includes marrying Hughston, a dashing and intelligent man running for office as governor of Georgia. It seems as if nothing can stop him until the day a profound secret entangles him with Annie Lou. The secret is an eyebrow raiser and could evidently jeopardize Hughston's career. However, secrets about his wife Caterina, could destroy his life as she discovers that their son H.J. has a life threatening blood born disease. The twisted plot of `Pressions mysteriously reveals that H.J. can be treated with blood donations from Annie Lou, the black maid. It becomes apparent that someone here is harboring an ancestral past that point the finger at Caterina, and can ruin her husband's career.
More discoveries unfold in `Pressions as it is discovered that Annie Lou is also, a Dream Weaver who can flashback to the past. Readers will sense plenty of tension and ask questions meanwhile, that reflect Annie Lou's disturbed toils with everyday racism in the American south and sure to capture readers of all nationalities as white and black people must intertwine by necessity for America to keep its fabric of peace together.
Now the "R" word has hit home, and it seems as if there is nowhere for Caterina to hide or run as the upcoming possibility of her reign as First Lady of Georgia alongside her husband who wants to keep her and his past a secret battles her need to help her son or perhaps not help her son. Her mind persuades her to take flight and run away, and she winds up in a cross battle of moral Vs political integrity. The latter ensues as a much more powerful struggle as Annie Lou's transferred struggles will leave readers also trying to answer if whether or not, Blacks can stand still while a flyer for a Democratic party holds a confederate flag on one side and the words, " If THEY win, we lose," referring to a black family featured on the back.
Can you stand for your child to go to school and read history books void of the real struggle of Black families, and not just reminders of racism, lynching, and war? Can you stand how history books evoke fear and silence in Black children from ever growing up and taking risks to speak against hate crimes? Can you stand to be a White American who knows your family is bred with black blood, but are too proud to omit this so-called societal fallacy or acknowledge these family members who have acknowledged you? If you are a Black American in 2008, these are just `Pressions of the past, that still linger. If you are white, and void of prejudice, you will sympathize with the struggles that carry on from the appointment of a black governor to a romance between Hughston and Nicole that will force even the most knowing soul to trace one's genealogy before getting married.
Yes, there is a clever story about the CATS, four ladies who'd you never guess will have to face racial tensions to just cope in their own world. This is a sensitive issue that will cause eyebrows to raise when it becomes evident that the number one issue in America today is racism!
Annie Lou, just one of the CATS in this epic novel reveals all truths as the owner of a day care center committed to writing a children's book about Black History in the future. She heralds as a historian who understands that to exist in this world, total acceptance and a feeling of belonging is greater to the Black American than one's own desires and needs, even love.
The dynamic layers of race relations and culture from as long ago when slavery existed in America takes on a course of struggle as the CATS of `Pressions still try to find their place and purpose of existence among the most intricate and engaging story plot to come along since Lalita Tademy's, Cane River. `Pressions creates a whole new meaning of racism filled with deception, twisted relationships and lies that filter to the reader's inner psyche, and disgust for the way of the world. Getting justice, a voice in on the issue, and successfully fighting back against racism proves to be a tumultuous journey for all 4 CATS that people whether black, white or brown will be able to see how racism in modern America today does adversely effects every facet of everyday peoples lives. "Pressions is brilliant, poignantly written, fit for a movie starring Denzel Washington, Haley Berry, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Maya Angelou, Phylicia Rashad, Cicely Tyson and Sanaa Lathan or maybe even the author herself, Edith Holmes, someone who may very well be one of the most gifted storytellers of all time in the millennium, and obviously influenced by the works of "The Great Ones," and some living today.
Edith Holmes is not your average storyteller. There is history embedded in every page that will leave readers to wonder if Edith is a dream weaver herself, someone who can escape into someone's dreams and dig up the past to the point of discovering THE TRUTH.
You will find a YOUnity Reviewers Guild Top Honor Award reflecting the magnificence of a lady writer of our time who is just as intriguing as her characters.
5 Stars! The DLNA!
Heather Covington CEO/Publisher of Disilgold Soul Magazine
'Pressions: Memoirs of a Southern Cat Jun 8, 2004
When the Deep South turns tides from winter to spring, its beauty cannot be compared to any other place on Earth except perhaps the Garden of Eden. It was always magical for Caterina, that is, until an intense scandal is ignited between Caterina's African-American maid, Annie Lou, and Caterina's powerful politician husband, Hughston J. Ford V.
The Southern Socialite...Clouded with depression after her son is shot, Caterina is on the run and forced to protect herself against buried secrets flaming out of control. It seems her son, H.J., has inherited a rare blood type, and without her maid's blood, he will die. What's in the BLOOD? For Hughston, it is the pureness!
The Dream Weaver...Annie Lou is the mainstay of her family, a people trapped in the failing lifestyle of sharecroppers. Oppressed, regardless of her blood type, she tries to formulate a plan to end the failures of her people. But just like Caterina, ancestral pride is keeping her and her people in bondage.
Will past deeds stop the Southern Cat from becoming the First Lady of Georgia? Will Annie Lou's bloodline keep the Governor's son alive, and end his political ambitions?"
About the author: Today, Edith M. Holmes lives in a small town in the Deep South of Georgia. After serving in the United States Army, she is now a disabled American veteran. She is passionate about reading and writing, and has published many articles in her local newspaper on diverse topics.