by Dianne F. Gray
Downloaded free from amazon, thanks Dianne!
I have now read two of Gray’s novels and I love her style. She writes stories that are impossible to put down, but also make you think about the world we live in and the possibilities that abound. Lovely. The Eleventh Question is about a girl, Arista, who is being bullied in school and, in a way, at home as well. Her mother drinks to excess and likes to gamble, but is also grasping at things to believe in, things to make herself feel complete and a part of something. Either through religion or the men she dates. Sort of like many people you meet. Her daughter is trying to understand herself and the world around her and she has begun asking questions. To date, there have been 10 important questions asked by mankind, and she is poised to be the one to ask the 11th, which will bring about a paradigm shift or sea change in the world. There is a Seer and her Ayudante (assistant), Cayo who are watching and helping the people who could possibly ask the 11th. The chapters alternate between Cayo and Arista.
It really makes you think, Gray sneaks philosophy into a compulsively readable story – Who am I? What am I? Why am I so concerned about what others think – what do I think and care most about!?
The characters struggled, I struggled with them. I really felt an affinity for the narrators Arista and I loved reading about Cayo. His struggle was so interesting…pride gets in the way, but he makes good. He follows through when he makes declarations, even if he really didn’t want to in the first place. His story reminded me slightly of The Alchemist which I haven’t read in forever, so it could just be the feel or what I have turned the story to in my head. But it was lyrical and metaphorical and made me think of it.
Arista is a really good kid, even though her home life is so messed up. Which I find amazing, but she is likeable, and going through struggles many of us have faced. She just ends up digging a bit deeper than many of us get. She has to face her fears in order to grow, and she has strength, wonderful people helping and the drive to do what needs to be done.
I loved Cayo and his journey. It was awesome. I really recommend this read. It was lovely, makes you question your world, has tons of sucky reality and has enough whimsy and magic to make it that much more fascinating. 5 stars.