Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A review of Bruce P. Grether's novel THE PURCHASING MOTHER'S SON

 by Rev., Dr. Kenneth Dobson of Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Purchasing Mother’s Son by Bruce P. Grether is an easy to read novel of an incredibly difficult period in Asian history, made more difficult for immigrants from Europe by the clandestine and mysterious nature of the people’s beliefs and social structure.  Grether takes us there in his daring foray into the spectral darkness.

If your life has never been thought to have been threatened by the demonic Purchasing Mother count yourself fortunate.  But she has been a constant menace here in South East Asia for more than a thousand years.

Bruce Grether grew up here in Thailand and learned how boys in Siam were protected and became invulnerable to her, but through so horrendous an ordeal that few endured it.  So far as Bruce tells, only one foreigner ever did.

Bad as she was, the Purchasing Mother demon was not the only threat in 1767.  The Burmese were ruthless, too, and they were heading toward Ayutthaya which they besieged, looted and burned.  If the beliefs of all the Siamese at that time were based on truth, not a syllable of Grether’s historical fantasy is impossible because the historical events are as carefully related as possible.  Millions of tourists have visited the ruins of Ayutthaya, but Grether takes us there as the appalling destruction was going on, as the demons rampaged.  Some people survived the carnage and wished they had not.  Some loved and were worse off for it.  There were intervals of beauty and moments of ecstasy even in those grim times.

But the Purchasing Mother was never far away.  Her love was the worst and most persistent.

You can purchase the novel HERE.

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