When I first heard of Zora Neale Hurston, it was at the end of tenth grade when I was reviewing the summer reading assignments for AP Language and Composition. Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of the required readings for the class, and I didn’t have any expectations
One of the things about the book that I strongly remember is the dialect Hurston used throughout her story. I had always heard people speak like that, but I never saw it written.
Because it was my introduction to that style of writing there was a barrier between me and the book. While I understood it enough to enjoy the story, the language stopped me from liking it as much as other books.
Despite this experience, when I saw Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, a collection of short stories from her, I was excited for it. Not only did it fulfill a category for my reading challenge, but it is also by one of the more famous female African-American authors, and I was planning to begin it in February and finish it in March.
However, after finishing the book I was overall disappointed by the short stories.
Many of them were hit or miss. While I did enjoy a couple of them, they did not make up for the fact that I felt like I had to drag myself through finishing the collection.
I discovered that I preferred the stories that were more character focused instead of folklore focused. The ones that did this tend to give more attention to an overall message rather than the characters that learn the lesson.
However, one thing I really liked was seeing some of the characters featured in the stories make reappearances. That made it slightly more enjoyable.
Overall, I gave this book a 2/5 stars.