Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Dead Above Ground

Dead Above Ground by Jervey Tervalon
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If you ever find yourself asking "Why can't I read a fiction book about African Americans set in the early twentieth century that isn't so much about the tragedy of the African American experience, but the everyday life of an African American," you might like this one. It's set in the 1940s and the protagonist is a woman of mixed heritage. Her father is Irish and her mother was Black (or Colored as they would have said then). She seems comfortable with both, having a good relationship with her father, who often comes to see his second family. She is getting around the age when she should be looking at settling down, and weighing her options. The story is nothing earth-shaking, but it was a very interesting read for me. I wish I got the opportunity to see in the life of other African American women without all the tragedy associated with it. Yes, there are trials and tribulations, but somedays I want a break from that and just want a good story that doesn't break my heart. I felt this fits the bill for that. You know that life is not perfect and that her life is limited by racism and segregation around her, but she is living her life to the best of her abilities. There is a White cop who is interested in marrying her, but she isn't sure she wants him. Instead she falls for a Negro man who is handsome and suave but not quite motivated in life. Again this is an everyday kind of book,although there is a mystery and suspense elements. But honesty, the suspense part didn't really have the much of an effect on me. I just liked reading about Lila's life. At the end of the book, I believe Lila has a Robert Frost, "Road Not Taken" moment. I found myself wondering what would have happened has she chosen a different path, too. I'm not even sure how this book ended up in my hands, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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