The women who accompanied the musicians hoisted yellow umbrellas into the air. They paraded seductively, twirling umbrellas like spinning tops."
There is nothing like being in Louisiana with family and friends. Newberry is a small town in Louisiana. Troubles multiply in this town like the guppies in an aquarium I had as a child. Of course, there are good times too. Still, the troubles are like a red light. Red glares much brighter than a green light. Strangely, like on a rainy night the different colored lights begin to blend and merge. At this point it is hard to tell good from evil. This is what happens so many times in Newberry. Touissant is one of the men who becomes weakened by the painful changes. The stresses of life cause him to become old quickly. He is old longer than he has ever been young. What hurts him is one of the many secrets kept wrapped up tightly in this book. If only, he could cover up tightly again what he so innocently uncovered.
Victor McGlothin openly shares the main focus of his novel, The Secrets of Newberry. It is really the only time I felt genuine clarity. With the new unopened book before me there were no monsters in the bushes. Once I opened the novel I began to feel as naked and vulnerable as Mother Eve. Eden quickly began to change. Paradise became a dark, wooded forest. My goodness, there were snakes hidden, camouflaged by every river, under every mound of leaves and wrapped around the tree trunks. Every once in a while a heavy tree limb ages old would fall on my shoulders or head. Those were the times I had met up with truth.
I hate dishonesty. I also have mixed feelings about revealed truths. It is like being in a hospital waiting room. I clutch my relatives and friends, whoever is near, in fear, dreading the moment the doctor will come out to tell the diagnosis of my loved one, his patient. At the same time, I can't live with the unknowns behind the door. So truth is better than untold secrets. I can cry, scream and shudder over the truth. Then, one morning or night will arrive when I will look at the truth boldly with both eyes open. I will release a breath and decide to begin the healing process.With secrets there is no catharsis or growth. There is only an albatross hanging heavily over me. I can feel it. I can't see it, touch it or feel it. I just know it is there. Waiting to make a speedy, heavy landing.
This is what I felt Rayletta, Pearl Lee, Toussaint, Hampton, Bones, Trotter, Magnolia and their children and Father O'Leery deal with every day in Newberry. Their lives are an adventure. Like me on a roller coaster each person can not wait for the ride to end. At the end of the raging ride which is life, they are out of breath, their hair is blown in different directions. They swear never to get on that ride again. Fortunately some of these characters will get on the ride again and begin again the struggle to love and survive.
Now I know all the secrets of Newberry. However, Victor McGlothin wrapped me around his little finger. I asked myself after the last page is there something else to be told, something he decided not to tell about Newberry. This I will never know. The book is incredible, wonderful and full of what life is all about.
"Trouble comes in bunches when you don't have use for none at all."