This novel is an engrossing depiction of the relationships between black and white women in Mississippi in the 1960s. At the beginning I found the dialect of the first narrator annoying, but I was soon gripped by the unfolding story.
There were occasional references to events I can remember: the assassination of John Kennedy, early Bob Dylan music, and hippies. However my memory of the American civil rights movement is purely from an historical viewpoint. I know it happened, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I wonder whether other people in New Zealand have a similar experience, and whether this is linked to our so-called “excellent” race relations at that time. Until I moved to Auckland aged 10 I had never spoken to a Maori, and it was at least another ten years before I became aware of the injustices that they had suffered.
The author’s note at the end of the book, where she explains her motivation for writing it, adds to the authenticity of the story, and the courage of the women characters is breath-taking. While this is a novel, I believe its portrayal of the place and times is genuine, and I urge you to read it.
“These women dared to cross the line
allowing lives to intertwine.”