Colt Tailing by Ute Carson
by Aryeh Baruch
This book takes powerful imagery to a new level.
Author Ute Carson a queen at making her characters come alive. Reading the book, I wholeheartedly felt like they did. Like
they were going to escape from the very pages themselves and draw me in to the story. The imagery in Colt Tailing is
powerful and sensual. You can touch things. Feel them. Ute Carson's words literally takes you to another world and conveys
very realistic images into the reader's mind. She really makes you feel like, identify with and understand her characters.
Interestingly, the book is told from two point of views, that are told in alternating chapters and that parallell each other
in both theme and structure. The first point of view is the main characters in modern times. This is contrasted with the perspective
of her ancestors.
Back in the Victorian age, the protagonist's great great grandmother was a countess in Germany. But then came World War I
and Germany was defeated. In order to escape the punishment that was befalling the rest of Germany, the protagonist's ancestors
chose to flee. They went to Africa and eventually ended up in America.
Meanwhile, back in modern times the protagonist is a woman who seems out of control. She has lots of emotions. She describes
a city with “lungs” that breathe deeply at one point in the book. And on another page, she shows her life out
of control by saying “I became a horse on a merry-go-round, impulsively turning and turning, back to the same words,
trying to reach him.” Throughout the entire book this character is emotional, going through her mistakes. Whirling and
bumping into all the people in her life.
Colt Tailing is also a piece of literature, with many themes throughout the book. The most powerful theme though
is the parallels and comparison between the two points of view, the protagonist and her ancestor. Her ancestor, a former countess,
is a very restrained and proper individual. Whereas the main character in modern times is just the opposite: a woman who ends
up doing all these emotional things and comes to reveal a whole supernova underneath. Ute Carson has succeeded in showing
us not only that these two storylines are parallell to each other, but that both the protagonist and her ancestor affect and
either complement or contrast each other. In the end, this book's sensual imagery and parallell storylines serve as a realistic,
absorbing adventure for readers.
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