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The Narrows

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  15 reviews
When Link Williams, a college-educated twenty-six-year-old African-American man, falls for Camilo Sheffield, a wealthy married white woman, things will never be the same in the sleepy New England town of Monmouth, Connecticut. Set in the 1950s, this unforgettable classic deftly evokes a tragic love affair and offers a window onto the powerful ways in which class, race, and ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Mariner Books (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

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Christine Granados
Was thrilled to find this book in New Orleans. I've enjoyed Petry's work since I first read her in college. She another one of "the chick" writers that gets my mind racing and my heart thumping.
Chris DeGuire
Beautiful use of language and (sometimes non-use) of color. Multiple points of view are followed in this story, and as a writer it's fun to try and figure out why Petry made the choices she did on who to follow when. If you're interested in stories where characters make poor choices and what the consequences are, read this. Read this book anyways and research Ann Petry. She has an interesting history herself.
Izetta Autumn
My favorite of Petry's novels. Here she practices urban realism/naturalism, most often associated with Richard Wright. Petry does Wright one better, adding lyrical language, description and full characters to her novel about an interracial relationship and its consequences in the mid-twentieth century.
Absolutely stunning. If this out-of-print novel written by an African-American woman in the early 1950's were published today, it would sweep the best-seller lists. Ann Petry could write rings around most of today's authors. Highly recommended. Can be found on Abebooks.
Just like the book summary says, this is a classic tragic love affair, that discusses class, race, and love in the 1950's. Reassuring in many ways, but realistic and depressing in others. Well-rounded characters stick with you after the book is over.
Gianna Mosser
Such a pertinent novel today in terms of racial boundary framed by an irresponsible media. Not the best known from Petry but my personal favorite. Must-do reading for anyone interested in early media machinery.
Nia W
The use of language and imagery in this book was amazing. Although the author is verbose she takes time to describe everything that is necessary for the reader like and understand this book.
Reading it for the second time. I miss the ball dropping in Time Square.
A wonderful, complex narrative. Enjoyed the read.
Ann's take on interracial relationships.
Not as good as the Street, but a good story.
Dec 25, 2011 Psalm rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: favs
One of my fav authors..greatness!
Aug 07, 2011 Janet marked it as to-read
Recommended to Janet by: Globe
Shelves: new-england
Won-Der-Ful, that's all I can say...
Mary Ann
Well-written story.
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Aug 30, 2015
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♥ Sandi
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Ann Petry (October 12, 1908 – April 28, 1997) was an American author who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street.

The wish to become a professional writer was raised in Ann for the first time in high school when her English teacher read her essay to the class commenting on it with the words: “I honestly believe that you could be a writer
More about Ann Petry...
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