A NovelBook - 2007
In the spring of 1999, Mai Yoshimoto-Lanier falls into a coma after her husband loses control of the old Ford and drives over a bridge into the Belly River. Eddie dies. But Mai falls into the world of her great-grandmother on the island of Hamahiga somewhere between heaven and earth.
Odori is a novel that navigates through the glorious Ryukyuan Kingdom and the Golden Era of the Sho Dynasty, through bloody World War II Okinawa, and over parched prairies of Southern Alberta's Rainmaker Hills -- all the while exposing human sorrows, indignities, idiosyncrasies, failed faiths, splintered spirits, and an island culture so resilient, so embedded it becomes mythical. It tells of Mai's journey into the world of an old kataribe storyteller, the ghost of her great-grandmother, where she hears of Tree Gods, Sky Gods and human lumps of clay - where her mother's poignant war letters tell of sights and sounds that singe a child's soul. In this dream world she has fallen into, Mai allows her basan's tumble of words to fall gently on her ear as she creates painting after painting, sketch after sketch.