5 Stars for Novel About Coming-of-Age in the 1960s Amidst Racial Injustice

Posted: August 27, 2015 in Announcements, Recommended Reading
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61tG-lFg7yL__SX372_BO1,204,203,200_5 STAR review for this must read period fiction novel:
Jon Michael Riley has a gift for compelling narrative.  In Searching for Cool, Praying for Heat, set in the early 1960s, he has woven together a coming-of-age story with one of racial injustice in rural North Carolina. As Riley does in an earlier novel, Dream the Dawn, he pulls the reader in immediately, this time with the violent rape of a young black girl. Riley  proceeds to build a palpable tension between those horrified by the cruelties visited on blacks and those who see those cruelties as essential economic controls.
 
The story centers on a 16-year-old white Northerner, Brian O’Rourke, and his family. The O’Rourke, who have recently move to the South, don’t share the prejudices of many around them.  Riley conveys Brian’s excitement about approaching adulthood, his sometimes touching, sometimes funny sexual awakening,  and his confusion and sorrow that he, his family, and his black friends are victims of a hatred he can’t understand. The well-written, timely narrative will keep you reading, held by its well-drawn characters, drama and poignancy.
 
~~~~~Dorothy Foltz-Gray; Author of With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin (Winner of the American Society of Journalists and Authors 2013 Prize for Memoir/Autobiography)
Posted by permission of author and reviewer.
Find this author at: http://jonmichaelriley.com/ and find all of his books here: Amazon
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