This book is reminiscent of “To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee and is one book that will remain on my Kindle. Set in the 1980’s in a small Mississippi town it is story about a boy’s coming of age in a place where things haven’t changed much since the civil rights movement.
When Jason Lee Rainey starts school he takes up for a black boy and in doing so he becomes the life-long enemy of twins who are bullies and this is also the start of his friendship with the black boy, Samson Johnson. He tells his mother what happened when she picks him up from school and she tells him “your father fought so you could be friends with this boy”, but doesn’t go into more detail. His father had died in the Vietnam War and his mother’s twin brother has returned home wounded and traumatized from his experiences.
The novels moves quickly as we watch Jason and Samson grow up and see how different situations are handled. When Jason is given a box of books that his father had left with a friend he discovers his father’s journals that tell of his experiences during the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. These journals give Jason insight to the father he never knew.
As a southerner, I enjoy reading good books about the south and this is one of the best. Having lived through the times, I was transferred back as I read this story. All the characters are well drawn and the dialogue flows so smoothly that the reader is never tempted to skim a section. I would have liked the story to continue, but perhaps the author is planning a sequel. Annie “Eclectic Bookworm”