by Jesmyn Ward
Reviewed by Linda:
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, this novel follows three generations of an African American family in Mississippi over the course of a few days. Ward, a two-time winner of the NBA, writes powerfully of how poverty and racism have shaped the lives of her characters and their ancestors. Jojo, a sensitive 13-year old boy, is an especially likable character who cares for his little sister. Their mother, who finds escape from her grief in drugs, takes them on a journey to the Northern end of the state to get their father after his release from the state penitentiary. Spirits who cannot rest because of the violence of their deaths accompany them, sharing their stories with those in the family who have the gift of seeing them.