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Book Review: Indiana

, by Mystee


Summary from GoodReads:
Indiana, by N.C. Weyl, is an intimate and often unsettling view into the heart of middle America in the 1930s. In a community where poverty and racism are a sub-theme of existence, readers are introduced to Samantha (Sam), a child who witnesses a terrible crime and must decide between revealing the shooter—the kindly, slow-witted Mr. Purdy who acted out of a need to protect—or letting an innocent man—the brutal and racist father of the woman attacked—go to prison for a crime he did not commit. Thrown into the mix of this drama-based-on-reality is the role of the Ku Klux Klan, the attitudes toward intermarriage and mixed-race children, and one community’s ability to change with the times…or remain inert and provincial. This is a compelling story, told from the viewpoints of multiple characters—primarily innocent children forced to make courageous decisions—and how injustice and intolerance can affect a family…and an entire community.


My Review: When I saw this title, I had to read it. I was born and lived all of my life, other than the last nine years, in Indiana.

This book follows a time in history where the KKK was a big thing. Where you were not an unwed mother and where you didn't dream of having a biracial child. It's told from several different characters, but is never confusing and is very well told. I always have a hard time getting past the *ignorance* that was so present years ago and had I listened to my Grandparents, I'd have probably followed the same ignorant ideas.

I started school in 1980 in Indiana and our schools were all white until I was in sixth grade. Even then, there were only a handful of families that weren't. In junior high there were less white families and in high school even less. This book made me so thankful that I have always had my own thoughts, no matter what I was told. I could never imagine being like those who were so unaccepting in this book. I am also glad to have raised my children color blind and hope that they'll keep passing that forward.

This book is kind of a slow start, but please to let that keep you from reading it. You'll hit a point where it starts to fly. Best of all, the ending is not what you think.

Sam, one of the main characters, has witnessed a crime. Will she tell the truth? Or will she allow an innocent man to die? What happens when a young mom is not only unmarried, but also the mother of a biracial child? Will she help to open up the eyes of others?

N.C. Weyl does a wonderful job of getting the ideas across of life in the 1930's and the closed-minded thoughts that some people still have.

My oldest daughter, 12, is biracial and it's something that, from time to time, we still have to deal with. It's a shame. However, this is a book that I'm going to try to get her to read as well. Indiana is a reminder of the past and a reminder to things that, to some extent, still need work. I recommend this book for all book shelves.



RATING: ♥♥♥♥

Pages: 262
Softcover

Review copy of this book provided by the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.

2 comments:

  1. As you know, I'm a native of Indiana too. Born there and still live here (in my 30s). I hate that those issues ever existed anywhere. But this does sound like a great read, even for older children to see what everyone has fought so hard to change.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not sure if I'd like this or not. This is another I'll have to think on before adding it to my want list for books.

    ReplyDelete

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