Time to Listen: Candy Voices

October 14, 2013

Chestertown hosts an annual book festival; the town was the site of the culminating event for the One Maryland / One Book program a few years back when James McBride spoke at the Fine Arts Center up the street; Washington College gives the largest literary prize in the country to a graduating senior each year and the local news frequently contains information about poets and authors giving lectures here.  So I think it’s safe to say that one can find books and book gatherings tucked away in lots of corners of our neck of the woods.  Recently (within the past year) I became a part of a local book group – a small group of high school friends and friends of friends and we’ve been reading whatever has struck our fancy.  Our most recent title is King Peggy, (another One MD / One Book selection), which I finished last night.  (At 2 A.M., I’m sorry to say, which is a problem with me and books – an especially significant problem when I have to get up at 6 to do breakfast, but here I sit at 3 P.M., and I haven’t konked out yet, so it’s going to work out just fine).  I love reading a book like there’s no tomorrow…

Friends and neighbors greeted one another cheerfully.  Peggy closed her eyes and listened.  The voices of Ghanaians had a different timbre entirely from Americans’.  Their voices were rich, deep, and reminded her of different kinds of candy–there was the bittersweet chocolate voice of an old man, the caramel and nut voice of a middle-aged woman, the mint chocolate voice of a middle-aged man, the butter cream voice of a young woman.

And Peggy’s voice?  Someone had once told her it was like hot chocolate, and that her laughter was like boulders of chocolate rolling down a mountain.  She had thought the remark was odd at the time but now, listening to the African voices all around her, she understood it.     (pp. 157-158, King Peggy, Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman, 2012). 

Candy voices:  do you have time to hear them?


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