Monday, February 21, 2011

Yee-Ha!, A Review of Evidence of Insanity.

Book Title: Evidence of Insanity
Author: Carol Piner
ISBN-10: 0557386934
ISBN-13: 978-0557386932
Publisher: Lulu Publishing
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

In an age when everything is whitewashed for political correctness or proclaimed as abusive and then psychoanalyzed sagely by folk of privilege, Evidence of Insanity is an unapologetic, knock-down-drag-out hilarious romp through the author, Carol Piner’s, memory of life in Morehead, Carteret County, North Carolina and beyond. She begins by setting the scene of those early years in Morehead by sharing that, “Talk . . . was our biggest industry . . . the low down, dirty, mean mouth kind of talking. Of course, it was all true, but let’s forget that for a moment and move on.” Piner isn’t shy about spinning the yarn of her life, boldly exposing herself, her neighbors, family and relationships for their inglorious humanity. She does so by washing laughter over all, as she out-truths the gossip mongers in this “tell all” book.

Piner describes her early self best when she writes “Think of me as a small Scarlet O’Hara. A grimy at all times Scarlet, but her nonetheless.” An apt description as time and again she faces the cruelties of life with stubborn determination and tenacity but above all else, humor. Evenhanded but merciless in her commentary, she holds nothing back when it comes to self analysis or her assessment of people and circumstances.

Evidence of Insanity, reveals as much about the strength and courage, pride and perseverance to be found in womankind as it does about Piner’s life. If you have painful memories of childhood or traumas that you just can’t seem to let go of, an hour reading Evidence of Insanity will slap the self pity right out of you, and leave you humbled but ready to go on living, a little freer for the reality check.

The colorful goings-on related in the pages of her memoirs paint, with all the soul and rich southern flavor a body could desire, one of the best depictions of rural life America that I have ever read. Evidence of Insanity is surely aptly named. Fried Green Tomatoes and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood have nothing on the Yee-HAs of Carteret County.

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