Reviewer Janet Walker: Janet is the author of Colour To Die For, first of the Fee Weston Mystery Series. Janet lives in Australia and when she is not writing about P.I. Fee Weston's fight for truth, justice and a livable cash flow, she writes articles for magazines and fund raises for Australia's wildlife carers - heroes of the bush. For more about Janet and Fee visit Janet's WEBSITE
Author: Lesley Hall Pinder
Author: Lesley Hall Pinder
Follow Here To Purchase Bring Me One Of Everything
Bring Me One Of Everything is an unusual arresting book title. It refers to the instructions Smithsonian management gave to their envoys when they visited indigenous cultural sites. Indiscriminate collection of native religious relics to add to a museum collection is now seen for what it really was: plundering of ancient civilizations to pander to Western exhibition audiences - thankfully, this practice has now been outlawed. The author, Leslie Hall Pinder, is uniquely placed to write a novel which has at its core an event where totem poles were removed from a Haida (Canadian indigenous people) historical site. Ms. Hall Pinder, a Canadian lawyer, for many years, worked exclusively for native people taking aboriginal rights and title cases through all levels of court. She argued many cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and has now retired from the law to write fulltime.
So what’s Bring Me One Of Everything about? Multi-layered, it’s an intriguing suspenseful novel. The main character, Alicia Purcell, while an outwardly successful poet and publisher suffers from anxiety attacks and chronic lack of confidence. Born illegitimate, her childhood years with an overbearing self-absorbed mother were unhappy and resulted in an unsuccessful teenage attempt at suicide. Woven into Alicia’s story are events from the life of Austin Hart, a 1950’s anthropologist who removed totem poles that belonged to the Haida tribes; the original inhabitants of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. Nine years after cutting down the totem poles Hart mysteriously commits suicide.
Alicia is disturbed by a recurring dream of a hawk entangled in her hair which appears to be connected with Austin Hart’s anthropological work. When she is offered the chance to write a libretto for an opera based on Hart’s life, she accepts; it’s a chance to unravel the mystery that surrounds his death and learn about the Queen Charlotte Islands Haida tribe. Alica struggles to solve the motivation behind Hart’s suicide, if indeed, that’s what it was. She meets his family, friends and talks to members of the present day Haida tribe. Along the way she loses her lover, something she’s not surprised by, tries and fails to deal with the vagaries of the opera’s composer and decides to let someone else finish the libretto.
Leslie Hall Pinder’s writing style is vigorous, exciting and rich with lovely descriptive passages. The underlying theme of the book is Alicia’s relationship with her mother. Throughout Alicia’s story the author returns to this characterization of two women, related but not relating, via a series of flashbacks and in the closing chapters in realistic emotional scenes as Alicia reverses roles to become her mother’s carer.
While readers of Bring Me One Of Everything will all read the same book, for each one, of course, it will be a different book. For me, Bring Me One Of Everything, was reminiscent of Patrica Highsmith’s psychological thrillers and as such the main thrust was Alicia’s quest for self love and approval from a seemingly vain uncaring mother. The author resolves Alicia’s relationship with her mother with tender insightfulness.
If she hasn’t already done so, I would like to request Leslie Hall Pinder to write a biography – after visiting her website, I am sure it would be just as fascinating as her fiction.