First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenage single mother, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. In transposing his epic novel to her own place and time, Kingsolver has enlisted his anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative power of a good story. Demon Copperfield speaks for a generation of lost boys, and for all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
Woah. 2022 is drawing to a close. Today is the second to the last day of the year. Today is also the last Friday of 2022! As the year draws to a close, I hope and pray that your prayers have all been answered. I pray that you will end the year with nothing but blessings and good tidings. I hope that you were repaid for all the hard work you poured during the year. More importantly, as we welcome a new year, I pray that you are in good health, in body, in mind, and in spirit. I hope that, with the pandemic slowly getting under control, 2023 will be a year of bounce-backs. Sure, the virus remains a threat but we are now in a better place than we were during the 2020 holiday season. I also hope and fervently pray that 2023 will be a year of blessings, healing, and great health.
Before we can finally wave goodbye to 2022, let me cap the week with my last First Impression Friday update for the year. It has certainly developed into a weekly tradition that helped me in appreciating my current reads, especially those that I initially struggle with. It aids in my gathering my thoughts about the books I am reading. For this First Impression Update, I will be sharing my thoughts on Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperfield. This is technically my last read for the year but I know I won’t be able to complete it until early 2023. As such, my official last read for the year is Tara M. Stringfellow’s Memphis, a book I just finished this afternoon. This means I will be closing 2022 with 103 books read, the most I had in a year since I started reading nearly fifteen years ago.
My third novel by Kingsolver, Demon Copperfield will then be both my closer to 2022 and my opener to 2023. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that Kingsolver was releasing a new work this year. I have previously read two of her works, with The Poisonwood Bible being my most recent read. Despite my favorable experience with The Poisonwood Bible, I wasn’t totally keen on reading her recent novel when I learned about its release. I would, later on, change my mind. Toward the end of the year, literary publications and journals made it a tradition to share their Best Books of the year; the New York Times Notable Books is one that immediately comes to mind. It was these lists that made me beat my initial apprehensions. Demon Copperfield was consistently in being listed as one of the best books of the year, even being part of the aforementioned New York Times Notable Books of 2022.
It was then a no-brainer; I must read the book. Besides, it has been nearly three years since I last read The Poisonwood Bible. There was another reason for my sudden interest in the book. Reading the blurbs about the book, I learned that it had elements of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. The connection didn’t hit me until I read these blurbs and the Dickens novel being one of my favorite all-time reads made me look forward more to Kingsolver’s modern interpretation of the timeless classic. The opening pages already laid out the basic information about the titular Demon Copperfield. He was born on a trailer to a teenage single mother.
From what I am getting so far, Demon’s mother was an addict and it seems that they were surrounded by the oppressive stench of poverty. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten that far into the story although the opening pages reminded me of David Copperfield, especially since my memory of it has become sketchy. It has been over a decade since I read the Dickens classic. If, as the previews I’ve read are true to their words, then the story would revolve into the story of an unwanted boy who the readers will learn to love. I can sense that there are elements of coming-of-age and even adventure. At nearly 600 pages, I can only expect it to be very eventful.
I can’t wait to see how Demon’s story develops. How about you fellow reader? What book or books are you taking with you for the weekend? I hope you get to enjoy them. Again, happy holidays everyone!