Susan's Reviews > Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock

Elizabeth and Hazel by David Margolick
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's review
Nov 14, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

Fast read about two women who were on different sides during the school desegregation efforts in Little Rock in 1957. Elizabeth was one of the Little Rock 9 who integrated the school. Her experience was very traumatic and affected the rest of her life. (An interesting point is that her parents didn't really seem to care one way or the other if she did this. I would have thought that these students would have needed a strong parental push to do this.) Hazel was made immortal through a journalist's photo. She was captured yelling at Elizabeth.

The book starts with the background of the Little Rock situation. The second part of the book discusses how this event affected both women years later. Hazel apologizes to Elizabeth, and they become fast friends. Alas, it is not to last - too much baggage for both of them.

At times, especially at the beginning, the book can be stilted, as is often the case when a third party is trying to recount the thoughts of others from years ago. Most of the time, though, the author writes in an engaging manner and is sympathetic to both women.

The ending saddened me, but was not surprising. Given what I see every day, we don't truly live in a post-racial America. Maybe this book will give us the courage to talk more about race relations rather than glossing over problems.

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