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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.
Gritty harrowing account of oppression and the fight to overcome it. The story however seems in parts to have been recorded in notation form as some parts are better written than others. Great love story between Tish and Fonny and their unborn child. The story shows the loving relationship of Tish’s parents towards Fonny who’s been wrongfully incarcerated. My only disappointment is that the story ends too abruptly.
The book was moving in that it described the unjust realities of the world that hit upon some more than on others. It is well written. Fonny's family were a bit too bad though and things are not always in black and white. People are not often simply good or bed. There's an in between that the author didn't delve in to until the very end of the book which was a shame. I think the book was too short , ending too abruptly .
It’s a long time since I read Baldwin and I had forgotten how good he is. It’s a moving story and one in which you realise what it must have been like to be coloured in NY in the 70’s. I felt I had to dock one star as the ending seems rushed and a little unsatisfying. That said it’s still a great 200 pages of classic literature.
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.
I wanted to read this book ahead of the release of the film of the same name. I took some time to get used to the language used but found the story very moving and felt I got to know the characters really well. However, I will be interested to see how the film deals with the very open ending to the story.