When I first got Trifles, I did not intend to read the entire book. Instead, I wanted to scan through it quickly and get back to my hectic schedule. That was not to be however, because the moment I read the Introduction, I was tempted to read Chapter One, then Chapter Two, then Chapter Three, etc. This was so because the flow of ideas in the book is so vivid, fascinating and inspiring that one is compelled to read it through to the very end. But it is not just how well written it is or the use of creative literary techniques in it that makes the book so captivating. Indeed Trifles is unique for a number of reasons.
First, the intimate interactions between the two families – one white and another black — beautifully and realistically portray the true values of modern Canada as a multicultural society. In this vein, the level of mutual trust, wisdom and authentic display of both faltering and resilient human attributes represented by the two families, with such a polarity of racial and cultural backgrounds, find striking similarities in a reader’s daily experience and human dispositions. Furthermore, their common adoration for Mandela, King and Ghandi as well as Kennedy indisputably demonstrates that even though we may look different or follow different creeds, our common human aspirations, and desires for ideal models of perfection, are congruently similar.
Second, the book brings out the Author’s great family values, profound intellect and personal weltanschauung as well as his academic orientation: his deep-seated philosophical thought, scientific knowledge and poetic sentiments. Yet these ideas are written in so ordinary a language that even anyone without any backgrounds in these areas will find the book utterly irresistible.
Lastly, the author’s choice of females as main characters, women that outshine their male counterparts in wisdom and intellect at every single encounter, is one that clearly strikes a chord with a reader. The wealth of intelligence shown by Adut and Angelina, as opposed to that of their elder brothers, Chol and Jimmy, for instance, notwithstanding their ages, is a theme that resonates resoundingly with the contemporary environment in which women are no longer passive recipients of the “goodwill” of their male counterparts. Instead, Trifles appropriately shows women as active participants in the process of shaping the destiny of their societies.
In general, not only is Trifles a good read, in fact those who deeply believe in the significance of decent families will consider Trifles as an immortal family Moral Code.
*Reviewed by Santino Mabek Dau. Mr. Dau is a Law student in University of Ottawa. For more about the book, visit www.kuirthiy.info