Modern Lit: Mr. Pip, by Lloyd Jones

5.0 out of 5 stars Popeye

“Everyone called him Popeye.” Thus begins Mister Pip, an eloquently written story about how profoundly literature can influence lives. As Popeye evolves into Mr. Pip, the personalities and character traits of the islanders also emerge. Mother and daughter, war and resistance, husband and wife, civilization and nature, life and death, black and white, nurturance and abandonment – these are dichotomies around which this novel plays out. Mister Pip is narrated by a young woman looking back upon her teen years on a remote Pacific island, who begins to come of age under the tutelage of the substitute school master. His true name is Mr. Watts, and he is the only white person on the island, having married one of its inhabitants. Every day, he reads part of Great Expectations to his mixed-age pupils, and the world opens up to each of them in a different way.

Dramatic, evocative,  filled with hope, sorrow, and a touch of mystery, Mister Pip has deservedly won numerous literary prizes. This is an important book with a timeless, unforgettable message.

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