Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile

Alice Jolly

Imbecile definition: a person who behaves in an extremely stupid way. By no means can Mary Ann be described as such. She is a strong child and a level-headed, caring and self-educated young woman. With no punctuation and an open verse, it is, initially, a difficult read. Do persevere. The more I read, the more fluid it became and I kind of 'found my feet'. Challenging read - yes. Interesting story - yes. A different time, a different life - yes.


Nay nay he say Come now Mary Ann
Take courage You are a strong girl
A good worker You may yet have life

As for the rest
The Lord take our mortal souls as He must
We go forth happy to meet Him

I am creasd with crying
yet he lays a hand soft on my shoulder

Say I hope when they write down my testimony
They will remember my soul always live free
Though my body chard always and sorely cagd

We all meet soon in a better place
So he say and pull from his neck
That kerchief he does oft wear
To wipe up my tears

All I can do is carry water wash clean change
Soon there are no more linen
The house reek so I try not to breathe deep
I sleep on the kitchen floor
Hold Fern in my arms

  • If Only You Knew by Alice Jolly
  • Benediction by Kent Haruf

Books with similar mood

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

The Kills

Richard House


Wu Ming

Six Four

Hideo Yokoyama

At Swim, Two Boys

Jamie O'Neill

A Book of Science and Antiquities

Thomas Keneally

Our Memory Like Dust

Gavin Chait

The Sun and Moon Corrupted

Philip Ball

Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

Stone and Sea

Graham Edwards

The Star Fraction

Ken Macleod

We That Are Young

Preti Taneja

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

Walter Mosley

The Big Music

Kirsty Gunn

Mr Vogel

Lloyd Jones

Otherland, Volume 1: City of Golden Dreams

Tad Williams

The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

The Distance

Helen Giltrow

Strange Music

Laura Fish

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

A Stranger City

Linda Grant

Life After Life

Kate Atkinson

The Fifth Woman

Henning Mankell


Ali Smith

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

Kim Leine

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

The Bishop's Man

Linden MacIntyre

Crystal Wedding

Xu Xiaobin

Baghdad Fixer

Ilene Prusher

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone

Sasa Stanisic

The Mysteries

Robert McGill

A History of Forgetting

Caroline Adderson

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

A Sense of the Beginning

Norbert Gstrein

Specimen Days

Michael Cunningham

The Year of the Woman

Jonathan Gash

London and the South-east

David Szalay

The People's Act of Love

James Meek

Someone to Run With

David Grossman

The Last Girl

Stephan Collishaw

The Harmony Silk Factory

Tash Aw

The Delivery Room

Sylvia Brownrigg

The Collaborator

Mirza Waheed

The Dogs of Riga

Henning Mankell