M+O 4EVR

Tonya Hegamin
There are two constants in Opal’s life: her dad’s grungy green baseball cap, and her troubled pal, Marianne, whom Opal loves as a best friend . . . and even more. But nothing stays the same forever. When Opal receives the horrifying news that Marianne is dead, she suddenly must live her life and make decisions based on the needs of one person instead of two. Only with the help of her family and the story of Hannah, a runaway slave, can Opal begin to free herself from the weight of her memories, her ghosts, and her own truth.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-09-27
Tonya Hegiman's first novel M+O 4evr, is only 164 pages, yet it's length, or lack thereof, does not reflect the breadth and depth of Hegiman's ability of capturing the complexites and challenges that Opal confronts. Our protagonist, an African-American teenager and Senior in high school, is forced to deal with sudden death of Marianne, her best friend. The novel traces Opal's stages of grief all the while dealing with unarticulated unrequited love for Marianna; Hegiman is put to task to earnestly merge the themes of Human Relations and Death into a single work. She does this, like an gifted alchemist, mixing vivid imagery of the Pennsylvania's Adirondacks and the "bullying clouds that steal the light from the sky" alongside unpretentious beautifully-crafted similes to absorb the reader easily into the Opal's rural and psychic world. The first person narration privy the audience with the constellation of internal thoughts that shows Opal experiencing a spectrum of emotions of hate and love, despair and joy, and loneliness and companionship. Further, the framing stories enhances the narrative by inserting folk elements of the oral tradition to sync past with present. At the end, Opal, our Spelman-bound (an HBCU located in Georgia) student is comforted by family, friends, and mythical world populated with creatures, former slaves, and Marianne. The M+O 4evr may be used as an interdisciplinary text between ELA and Social Studies (Geography, American History), Character Development classes. The novel provides the ELA Freshman or Sophomore teacher with an accessible story that helps students understand literary devices, such as, effective imagery and narrative structure as it contributes to broadening thier understanding of our shared human experience. For the SS high school teacher, the geographical setting of the Adirondacks may provide multiple lessons on the the variety of climates and terrain within a specific site. The allusions to the antebellum period will enrich American history lessons plans on the daily life and experiences of chattel slavery. The lesbian subtext lends to multicultural and tolerance lessons that will offer Character Development teachers with a resource to discuss contemporaries issues such as sexuality and gender.
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@orynsbelt completed #mo04evr... on 2016-09-26
@orynsbelt
@orynsbelt completed #mo04evr... on 2016-09-26