Struggles of the Women Folk: A Critique



On June 28th, I blogged on a writer’s ability to ‘evoke emotions in readers.’ Well, after finishing TM Brown’s Struggles of the Women Folk, I was highly moved. So after clearing it with TM Brown, herself, I have much to say regarding this literary piece.

It touched me deeply and parts of it moved me to tears because it tied into my own life. The main character, Georgie, experiences a series of challenging events which test her endurance. I could distinctly hear Georgie’s voice as she anguishes through the many trials and I will discuss two of them.

She is unable to save her friend Sissy and Georgie feels a sense of helplessness as she watches and listens on the sidelines. It reminded me of my dearly departed friend, Carolyn, who was taunted, teased  and fought by some of our classmates in the 8th grade .  She was bi-racial and had very long hair and the other girls hated her for it. However, she had a heart of gold and we understood each other and could talk about everything.

As with Georgie and Sissy, Carolyn and I were close but I could not save her from the storms of life. I could only be as close as possible and let her know that I was there for her when the seas were raging. It proves that friends can be closer than sisters. These spiritual sisters can later become our protecting angels from afar as Sissy becomes for Georgie.

Later in the Struggles of the Women Folk, Georgie has a child born under unusual circumstances. In the black community these phenomena are not taken lightly and my own southern roots helped me to be aware of these beliefs. In this case, the daughter, Angel will be a seer and considered to be a very special child.

But, when Georgie is duped and Angel is taken from her, I felt for Georgie as she becomes listless and inattentive to her daily needs. Life threw her a curveball that she was unable to catch, but aid and assistance did show up when she felt that she was at the bottom of the well. The cavalry did arrive.

I could go on and on about this work, but I will close by speaking on Brown’s brave use of dialect. Few have pulled it off without losing the reader such as Zora Neale Hurston did in her short story, “Sweat” and in her novel, Their Eyes were Watching God. TM Brown does it masterfully as she again, captures the voice of the women in the back woods and rural parts of Virginia. This is a must- read book for anyone who enjoys good literature!

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