Candi Sary’s debut novel, Black Crow White Lie, is a kind of metaphysical coming of age novel that doesn’t require a belief in the metaphysical, supernatural or any other new age philosophy. Its beauty, much like Richard Bach’s early works Jonathan Livingston Seagull, A Bridge Across Forever, Illusions, is in its revealing the universal strength and self-confidence to be found in the human spirit.
Told with the simple prose and narration of a thirteen-year old, street smart boy – though that sounds a paradox, it is an apt description of Carson Calley and perhaps all of us – there is at once a naiveté and a native wisdom that is endearing and admirable. It’s to Sary’s credit that she draws characters who seem to stand way over the mainstream line, yet are readily identifiable and easy to empathize with. The author has penned an emotionally stirring tale of heartbreak, growth, and acceptance that bodes well for her future.
Carson Calley is a young boy, entering his teen years, living an unconventional life. He and his mother, ‘Juliette Bravo’ as she has legally changed her name to, live in a series of Hollywood motels. This is not the Hollywood of glamor, but the Hollywood of seedy characters, seedy bars, and seedy motels. His mother makes her living telling fortunes. She spends her nights in bars and drinks too much and leaves Carson to raise himself. But she tells Carson stories and helps him understand just how special he is:
“We were Indians – California Indians. This pale skin was once native brown. And these legs of yours were once big and strong so that you could run after deer and shoot them with your arrows, and then bring the meat back to me. You were destined to be a great medicine man, the great healer who would take away all the pain and disease of our people."