An Imitation of Life
The ironically named Celia Doom is a giantess diagnosed with progeria, an accelerated growth syndrome. At birth, her mother was so horrified that she boxed her up and left her on the nearest doorstep. As a child, Celia was considered too inhumane to receive an education, and now, as an adult, she faces the harsh cruelties of the world with nothing to show for herself but photography, at which she is prodigious. She is only trying to live a humble life when she causes an accident that devastates her hometown of Provencia. Unable to defend herself, Celia attempts to make peace with the inhabitants of her town through her gift of photography. With the help of her friends and her camera, Celia is able to overcome the contempt she and her adoptive family hold for her condition and find her inner beauty.
Told through the staggeringly poignant voice of Celia herself, we are introduced to a “monster’s” perspective of the world. Laura Solomon writes beautifully, perfectly capturing every emotion and lack thereof. The novel highlights the effects of cruelty and puts into question society’s treatment of outsiders. Celia’s world, though eccentric, provides a hauntingly realistic vision of what it means to be an outcast.An Imitation of Life depicts no imitations; rather, it creates a well-painted picture of the reality of today’s society.
Proverse Hong Kong