The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall is a very well written book. It starts off with the characters speaking in such a strong Northern British dialect that they are hard to understand. Just when the reader begins to get the hang of the language, Cyril (Cy) Parks moves to America, where he becomes the Electric Michelangelo, tattooing customers at Coney Island, and his dialect begins to take on a more American tone.
Cy's mentor, Eliot Riley, tells him that a tattoo artist is really a midwife, helping people to become someone new. Cy understands that, but he never quite realizes his own role as a care giver to anyone who needs it, regardless of their state in life. While he looks for companionship in his life, Cy is constantly seeking a reincarnation of his mother. What he fails to recognize in himself, is that he is his mother's legacy. He carries all of the skills and gifts that he admires in her. Cy and his mother also seem to share the ability of knowing when to walk away, even if they walk broken hearted.
I'm still not quite sure what I think of this book. In the end, it doesn't seem that Cy got what he deserved. I'm glad for him, though, that he didn't get what he wanted. Many things that happen in this book are not fair, but when they happen, it seems that you should have seen them coming.
I think that this book will be one that I think back on occasionally, and maybe begin to understand differently as time passes.
Next up: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk