Book 2: Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan
“People don’t just disappear, or do they?”
Calliope Santiago awakens from a car wreck disoriented. Strewn about her are abandoned cars. She can’t explain how she got there nor where everyone else has gone. Pregnant with twins, all she knows is that she must make it to the emergency rendezvous point and find her family.
Her journey takes her through an unknown world. One that is fraught with untold dangers and mysteries that hold more true to the “stories” of her bisabuela than to any reality she has ever known. As a scientist, she struggles to put this new world into a rational framework. Along the way, she is met by a young girl with third sight and a man who carries the stories of the ancestors. In order to survive, Calliope will have to suspend her faith in science and accept that there may be truth in the oral traditions of her people.
Shedding Our Skins
Was the snake a blessing or a curse?
In Trinity Sight the snake is only seen directly once – around the neck of an indigenous god. In this sense, I would assume it is referring to infinite wisdom or power. On a larger scale, the reptile as a form is referred to within the context of creation and evolution. This new world that Calliope has entered is a rebirth. The Earth regenerates and reclaims itself after destruction.
Life Lessons Learned:
- Learn to be adaptable. Open yourself to new experiences.
- There is wisdom in the voices of the past.
- Zuni proverb: “As you go forward in your life you will come across a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.”
Trinity Sight is lyrically written. Givhan’s roots in poetry were palpably evident. Calliope represents the professional woman of color who must straddle two worlds – that of her birth culture and one where she has strived to make a name for herself. As a scientist, I appreciated this dynamic which is rarely seen in the literature. I found it refreshing how Givhan was able to tackle this dilemma while merging Zuni oral histories with apocalyptic fiction.