Monday, June 28, 2010

Indiana by N.C. Weyl

Publisher:  BookSurge, 2010
Pages:  270
Source:  Received from publisher for review
Genre:  Adult, Realistic Fiction

When I first read the premise of this book I knew I had to read it.  I grew up in Indiana until I was almost 15 years old.  This is the story of a minister and his family who move to Indiana during the 1930's.  This was a time when the Ku Klux Klan was at its peak.  The story is of a family who must face the reality of prejudice in their own community and the way the people turn a blind eye.  This story is told in alternating chapters by different members of the minister's family.  When a young member of his congregation returns home with her bi-racial child her own parents want to turn her away.  A widow with a child is one thing.  To bring a colored baby into the town is just not done.  When things get out of hand and a man is killed the town is determined to turn a blind eye to the truth of what happened that night.  Sam and her brother Tyler witness the shooting and decided not to tell what they know. Things are fine until Sam is forced to testify.  She must decide between telling the truth or letting an innocent man go to jail.

This book had me from the beginning.  It started a little slow but picked up speed.  I grew up in one of those towns in Indiana.  My parents raised me in a strong Christian home.  I never saw the difference in people because of skin color.  Both of my parents knew what our town was like.  They had grown up where the sheriff of our town had been the head of the Ku Klux Klan.  In the early 70's whenever we had basketball or football games that had black athletes on the other team they were played during the day.  I always thought it was because they had to drive so far to get to our school.  My mother explained to me one day it was because of a sign that sat outside the city limits that read, "N---r don't let the sun go down on your back."  To this day there are a few black families that live right outside the city limits but there are no blacks that live in the town.  How sad that there are still people that are small minded.

The author's characters were believable, and so realistic.  They could have been my neighbors in a different time period.  I felt for Sam and her family.  The romantic interest she had was true to life as well.  I didn't like the ending because it didn't have the fairy tale ending I wanted.  It was all too realistic.  This is a book I will recommend to everyone I know.  I would gladly read other books by this author.

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