Today is already our final day of the Summer Literary Sewing Circle focusing on The New Moon's Arms! I hope you've had the chance to read the book, and the inspiration posts, and are already getting lots of ideas for a project of your own. Remember you can add your thoughts to any of these discussion posts at any time, whenever you've read the book and have something to say :)
The project linkup will be added to the bottom of this post: as soon as you are done your project, just pop a link to your post into the linkup and we will all be able to visit your blog/instagram etc. and explore your creation -- remember, it can be sewn, or knitted, crocheted, embroidered... any textile art that you practice.
Did you enjoy this novel? Did you have a favourite character? Was there a theme which particularly resonated? What part of it stood out for you as your inspiration for your project? Was there anything you didn't like about this novel? Had you heard of it prior to this readalong? Did you recognize any of the character quirks in the story? What did you think of the mix of realism & fabulism?
And I enjoyed the mythological aspects -- the sea people, the slave narrative, the folktales. Some readers don't resonate with that as much, but I liked the way it's all woven in together. I also found the mix of characters fascinating. Often in novels you get a circumscribed circle of people, in the same social and economic circles. Others may appear but only as foils for the main characters. In this novel I felt like people from all levels of society were true characters in the book, from Calamity to Evelyn, and even from Mrs. Soledad to Caroline Sookdeo-Grant. It was a wide variety of people, of all socio-economic classes, of differing racial or sexual identities. It felt completely natural and realistic, and made me a little sad once I realized how infrequently this happens in a novel.
What really caught my imagination was Calamity's "finding" ability returning at menopause. I loved this idea, and Nalo Hopkinson's explanation of it in her interview. It is one of these finding incidents that has caught my fancy for my project inspiration. When Calamity returns home with Evelyn & Samuel, to the reappearance of her father's cashew grove, her shock is complete. She says:
"The cashew trees shushed the night. Mumma used to tell me that the sound they made was their way of reminding bad little girls to go to sleep when night come. So many nights of falling to sleep with the crash of the sea coming in one window and the whispering of the cashew grove from the other."
And I can't get that image out of my head - it feels real to me, as if I can hear it and smell it as it stands there. So I'm planning on a summer dress from a green/yellow leafy print cotton voile; it resembles the colour of a cashew apple, in a way, and makes me think of those rustling leaves. I'm not 100% sure which pattern I'll be using yet; I'll have to decide this weekend and then get to work! Possibilities include Vogue 8728 or maybe Simplicity 8384 or Butterick 5209 Have you decided yet?