What's in a Name
A woman living under the influence of a nickname that her mother has given her just before she dies has been awakened, and to the devastating effects that she has suffered through “the abuse and obscenity of silence.” So she no longer wants to remain silent.
Who’s Christine? Who’s Dell-Dell?
One woman calls herself Lena. Another calls herself Dell-Dell. Who are they?
Comparing a mother’s influence to the motions in a spiral galaxy that has a central bar-shaped structure, What’s in a Name begins what will be a thematic series of novels called The Barred-Spiral Trilogy. Each tale will focus on an allegory that children, residing within a mother’s galaxy of influence, are the stars. But they are affected by the motions—the events in their own lives and every encounter therein—that mothers effect.
At the core of one such mother-daughter cosmic dance is a name, “Lean-a.” Christine has remained silent about the events that involve her own mother renaming her and the real meaning of the name itself. There’s also a cagey seventy-five-year-old woman who has renamed herself Dell-Dell. When these two stars collide, they form a powerful connection and provoke questions about comeuppance and what they individually have compromised.
What's in a Name reminds us that “the past is in the graveyard.”
While the novel traces a path, through “the abuse and obscenity of silence,” back to a place where nicknames are not only ubiquitous but also shrouded in secrets, the narrative limns each character name with a message about regaining the lost self.
In Canada and Jamaica, these silent women of What’s in a Name can no longer remain so. You will be mesmerized by this epic tale that details each woman’s shocking justification for her own silence. The main character, Christine/Lena, trades “bridling herself with her secret for some breaking news of her own.”
Each woman’s name is like the cover art that wraps to the back of the book, suggesting that names are rooted in something that will become a revelation, even if such truth is trivialized or set down to “the effect of breeze having manipulated leaves into form; leaves having manipulated light with equal savvy.”
The women have spoken, and they must be heard. But for one of them, Dell-Dell, speaking by itself isn’t enough, nor is her name, so she commits an unspeakable act to solidify her future and a new life by way of a new name. She reminds us that every woman knows her own sorrows.