Wow! What an amazing, incredible, eye-opening, teaching without preaching, novel! It just really spoke to me – I was encouraged, humbled and challenged as I got to know the different characters!
There were several different story themes going on at the same time, as well as a plethora of characters so I had to plow though a little to learn who they are but then – wow! Taking place in a small Missouri town, three families find their lives intermingling, for the good and the bad. As race relations escalate, Jen Covington, a white woman, has not only just adopted a 7-year-old black Liberian little girl, but has also moved half-way across the country. Neither is easy – and the author doesn’t sugar coat it! Meltdowns, attachment disorders, bonding issues, behavior problems, and even self-doubt are all skillfully woven into the story. “She raised another 3 musketeers in mock salute. To the mother who went to every adoption class, attended every seminar, quoted the adoption guru Karyn Purvis like a Bible scholar quoted Scripture, and possessed all the arrogance that came with too much knowledge and not a lick of experience.”
Camille, on the other hand, is perfection – on the outside at least! With 2 girls and a boy, she is on the PTA, is a room mother for the youngest (the 2 older are past elementary school now) and organizes an annual charity 5K. “She did Pilates at the YMCA two times a week. She was surprisingly good at Zumba. None of her clothes had holes in them and the only thing she posted on Facebook were cute pictures of her children.” But can she hold it together when life starts crumbling apart on her? What will happen as her perfect life shows its flaws?
The last main character, Anaya, is a young black teacher in the predominately white school that the other families attend. Race tensions are running high because “South Fork was one of the most violent districts in the entire state of Missouri, and suddenly, because of some poorly written laws, those students had the option of coming to Crystal Ridge.” And it’s not just an abstract concept for Anaya – she comes from the South Fork area! Can she overcome the prejudice? And at what price?
Racism, perfectionism, judgement, and so much more is beautifully blended in a story that made me want to keep reading and reading. I loved how the novel flowed, telling the story through the eyes of Jen, Camille, and Anaya, and how they learn so much through each other as life punches them all. I highly recommend this book! I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. It comes out on April 3, 2018 (since I read an advanced copy, the cover could change).
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website http://www.katieganshert.com.