• Evangeline Lawson

Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo by Ntozake Shange

Prior to this read, I had only read For Colored Girls...by Ntozake Shange, so I was excited to see how a novel by her would connect with me.


The book is beautifully written, making it a nice listen as well as I enjoyed this version via #audible.


Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo is just as lyrical and poetic as the characters the book is named for. The three sisters and their mother explore the intersections of so many things: the arts, racism, sexuality, and feminism to name a few. With not-so-subtle themes about what it means to be a woman, a sister, a mother, a lover, and a partner being intertwined. This book makes you examine yourself as you follow the journeys of the characters. One word that kept coming to mind was compromise. When you decide for yourself to accept something you once did not, is the compromise considered an act of settling or love?


The structure of the book lended to a deeper understanding of each characters' journey of self realization or awareness, with letters, poems, recipes, journal entries and spiritual practices woven throughout. Which is only fitting as these Geechee women from South Carolina are master weavers who pass the talent of creating textiles through generations. The cultural authenticity alone makes it worth the read, but the tenderness in which Shange handled each characters' vulnerability and passions is what makes Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo worth the read.


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