Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lies, Prejudice, Truth...and Love... and Much More!

Melanie Amaro - Winner of $5M X-Factor Contract!
White Lies, Black Blood:

  An Epic Tale of Love 
  and Race

By Trevor Ennis

As I started to read the debut novel by Trevor Ennis, I soon flashed to the night that Melanie Amaro revealed the true Melanie as she broke down, sometimes speaking with her Jamaican accent, and cried, telling about her past, her home, her struggle to eliminate her accent so that she would be better accepted. Before that night we loved her voice, but after that night where we met her more personally, we loved her even more...

Many times, we are all like that, we withhold a connection to somebody new, until we know them better, while others show some of their underlying prejudice(?) through jokes and innuendo (see related article below)...

But there are many who still have deep-seated prejudice--in fact, in Ennis' novel, set in 2009, we are taken to Kentucky where Angelica has grown up with a prejudiced father and now attends an all-white college. Based upon what she learned growing up, readers meet a woman who has totally adopted her learned prejudice and freely acts on it whenever she meets someone who is black...

An early warning, this review covers Book 1...I hope this will reduce a little of your disappointment when you find that you are so involved with the story that stops just under 500 pages! But this is indeed epic and readers need to have been placed within the setting to fully appreciate the impact of what is to happen... I'm soooo looking forward to reading what comes!

There are many clues spread liberally within the pages, but you have to "think" about them--much like the article I mentioned about Melanie.  Where one individual jokes about the accent, I thought about how sad it was that she knew she would need to learn how to speak American English...

So when two exchange students from Jamaica  are sent to Angelica's school and winds up in classes with Angelica, she not only participates, but instigates much of the actions against the students! Which continued until they finally fought back. The segue to what happens later is very effective, although I'm hoping that it includes more about the two Jamaican students... The sad thing for me is that while the novel is fiction, I'm not quite sure that some or all of these actions do not still occur somewhere in America...

One bright spot in Angelica's family is James, still innocent and free from the bias his father routinely displays. One activity he enjoys is to "play" at picking winners so that he forces his family members to choose who is going to "win" and often his champion did become the winner. And so, it was while they all watched Olympic sports and the 4-year-old boy had finally talked everybody into choosing who they believed was going to win the race,  that James announced his choice: "the one in black, yellow, and green with number one on his vest..."

"...the tall, black one?" and Angelica proceeded to gives her thoughts on his choice... only to later actually meet the athlete when they passed at the airport...where Angelica's friends started a familiar game of racial bullying... But something happened...Angelica couldn't forget him! So much so that when her family started to discuss their vacation, she chose and convinced them to go to Jamaica...

Where Angelica and...Kazeem... became...acquainted...and more...

Lies, prejudice, fear...and, finally, love... come together as Angelica is forced into facing what she learned from her parents versus what she sees in actions by other people, versus what she herself begins to feel and believe... Ennis  has effectively portrayed what the results are when prejudice lives in the hearts and minds of some individuals--some is not easily read if you've seen such actions, or have heard the results from people who have experienced them. At the same time, the awakening of his main female character is so realistic that you will experience the doubt and confusion as a young girl finds that her essence, her "self" might have been based upon false information!

There has been enough provided already to know that the book is going to include more violence and that the sins of the father will undoubtedly come out in, to some, unexpected ways... Frankly I can't wait to read it! There is much to learn from White Lies, Black Blood...but, no way around it, there is a hot steamy love story that plays a central role! Highly recommended!

Book Received Via
Bostick Communications


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