An amazing book written by two incredibly talented women. The language in the book is beautiful and I love how we learn about Zora Neale Hurston's adventurous spirit and talent for story telling through a fictional story as told by a character in the book. It's a great way for kids (and let's face it, this adult) to be introduced to Zora Neale Hurston. The first thing I wanted to do after reading this was pick up Their Eyes Were Watching God!
Zora loves to tell stories and all the school children call her a liar. Except for her good friend Carrie who sees Zora's strength in storytelling and believe in what Zora is saying. Zora is convinced that the quiet and somewhat reclusive Mr. Pendir is a gator man, half-gator, half-man, with a hunger to devour beautiful voices. When a dulcet-toned traveler named Ivory is found dead, Zora and Carrie (and sometimes Teddy) are on a mission to find out who done it. Was it Mr. Pendir? Zora seems to think so. But they need to first prove he's a gator-man for sure!
The mystery propels the story along. But it's not all about the mystery. That's just one element of the book. What you also get is an understanding of Zora Neale Hurston as a person, the African-American community of Eatonville, turn-of-the-century prejudice and racism as well as the power of a child's imagination.
I loved reading this book. Channie Waites did such a spectacular job with the narration. If I pick up the physical book and read a sentence or two, Waites' voice pops into my head. She delivers the language of the book so beautifully and authentically. It was really a joy to listen to.