I ran across this title several months ago, but didn’t pick it up until now. Wow. It was very impressive for a first time author and I am on board for whatever she writes next. If you are a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver or Toni Morrison, you will enjoy this book; As I was reading I kept thinking of those two authors, and when I finished I saw that Durrow acknowledged both as being major influences.
The story follows several characters and their respective plot threads culminating from one major traumatic incident. Subplots include navigating racial identity and coping with loss. My favorites included Rachel, the protagonist, and Brick. Overall, it was easy to read, and very compelling. My only complaint was the ending felt a bit unresolved; I don’t need a nice neat ending in a bow, but I would have preferred to know a bit more.
Some great lines –
If there’s no one else to tell another side – the only story that can be told is the story that becomes true.
“I can’t get rid of the sadness,” Laronne said.
“Well,” David said, “then we’ll just keep it company.”
“Grandma sees these things when she talks about them and gestures with her hands like she’s painting brush strokes in the air. The way Grandma paints her dreams for me, there’s a low sky.”
“It’s easy to smile just to make other people feel better. But when a person fakes happy, it has edges. Regular people may not see, but the people who count, they can see the edges and the lines where your smile ends and the real you, the sadness (me) or the anger (Grandma) begins.”