The coming of Age story of Brian is set amidst the 50/60’s racial turmoil in the south. There is some language within that might be uncomfortable for some people, but the author mentions it within the foreword and their wish to keep the tone of the book as authentic to how it was back in those times. Thus hoping to fully immerse the reader within the story and I do say that this was a fantastic read. The main point of view is from Brian over the summer, and throughout the school years although you do get some chapters written from the view of others in the story, his parents, Angela (his crush) to name a few.
This story grips and shocks you right off the bat; within a few pages you are witnessing a young girl’s rape. This and the actions that it sparks play out throughout the novel and have a way of resurfacing. Brian and his family are “Yankees” from up north so they do not adhere to the strict segregation beliefs as much of the surrounding residents in town do, and Brian even participates in the Sit Ins, he rides around on a Motorcycle behind an African American man, “thumbing his nose” at the establishment so to speak. He ends up having a confrontation with the Klan that leaves him almost dead and then fighting for recovery afterwards. Brian struggles to really discover who he wants to be and what he wants to stand for morally, as a young man, all the while being constantly “distracted” by the pubescent awakening of his body (so to speak).
An intriguing read from front to back, this book is great for any history buff, and even those who enjoy some drama twisted into it all.