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I'll keep this short, but I think this is a truly brilliant book whose greatest strength, for me, lies in the depiction of relationships between the two young lovers and their respective families. The girl's family is loving and supportive whilst the boy's family is more conflicted. There are some wonderful conversations in this book, but the passage I enjoyed the most is concerned with the antagonism between the two families when they meet to discuss how they should deal with the girl's pregnancy The encounter is both physically and verbally pretty brutal and I loved it. If you are someone who is not keen on the use of swear words then you might want to give this a wide birth as they are used quite liberally and with great effect; the book is populated by realistic characters with real and very difficult lives. An ever present throughout the book is a hatred of the racism these characters have to negotiate their lives through. The author himself was a black homosexual civil rights activist and I, as a middle-class white male, couldn't fail to get a real sense of the indignities, wrongs and frustrations heaped on the American black population. I also felt that the voices of the characters were noticeably different from those written by white authors e.g. you wont hear white men referring to each other as "baby". The language employed is not difficult and the book, whilst by no means simple, is a joy to read and I can't for the life of me understand people giving a book of this quality a poor review.
Had I had the time over the last few days, I would have wanted to gobble up this amazing piece of writing on one sitting. It's that good! The narrative concentrates tightly on two people, a young woman and man who have dreams and the simple aspiration of living together and make some of those dreams happen. The main crux though is that they are African Americans in the 1970s, that they've grown up in poor circumstances and that racial hatred is rife. There is no justice protecting the falsely accused Fonny and no peace for Tish who is carrying a child by the time he's incarcerated for a rape allegation.
It's a short powerful read that packs a punch, brings alive two individuals who don't give up on each other because sometimes love is all you've got in life.
This was a beautifully written book. It was so unlike anything I have read before. Wonderful to see the world from somebody else’s perspective and gain insight into what life is life for people who are marginalised and fighting prejudice.
Completely un put downable, this book charts the impact of being accused and imprisoned for rape on a young black man and his fiancée and their families. The book is as old as I am and what’s horrifying is that reading the news it seems like little has changed for black Americans and the legal system.
This book reminds us of the struggle black people face, how one moment can change so many lives. It details the injustice poor people experience and systematic racism in the judiciary system. How apparent prejudice was and still is, and what the consequences are, when this is not challenged.