“The Civil War has ended, but the conflict isn’t over.”
Outstanding treatment of a sensitive and controversial topic: the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Reconstruction South, specifically Richmond, VA. Appropriately, the protagonist is a white teen boy caught in conflicting currents of loyalties, commitments and aspirations. The reader is swept along with his ambivalence (and occasional stupidity) as he treads this murky maze.
“Those who survive in Richmond reinvent themselves as circumstances dictate.”
Best map (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Map of Richmond, 1867) in any book ever, including famous fantasy trilogies. Magnifying-glass-worthy detail. (Yes, maps are a big deal to me.)
“Of course, he’d have asked, but while the girls were standing in front of him, he’d been too flustered to think.”
Excellent use of inner voice and vocabulary to establish both the age and view point of the protagonist, Shad. That he has dyslexia is revealed without using the modern term.
“If the world had ended at that very moment with Shad singing “Glory, hallelujah” in a shed full of coloreds, he’d have gone to his maker with a smile on his face.”
There were southern whites–rich and poor– who opposed slavery. Likewise Reconstruction hardened many whites’ prejudice against blacks. Westrick explores both. Even better, she plumbs Continue reading