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Living in the Middle

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Rejected by his race. Hunted by the Klan. Yet, standing up to hatred is still the only choice.

New York, Early 1900s: Jimmy Montgomery comes from old New York money and grows up among the Manhattan elite. At the age of eighteen, Jimmy discovers he’s been living a lie. He follows his roots back to Tulsa, Oklahoma to answer the burning questions in his life. Who is he? What i
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by Kindle Direct Publishing
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4.54  · 
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 ·  74 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Deanne Patterson
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book, WOW! It's a pretty heavy read, there really is a lot going on here.
Starting out innocently enough Jimmy Montgomery comes from an old monied family growing up in New York among the Manhattan elite. He hasn't a care in the world but that world starts unraveling rapidly once his father passes away and he realizes the life he has been living has been a lie. Deciding to find his birth mother in Tulsa he is a naive eighteen year old man. He has no idea how much his life will change as he go
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book 4 in the “Slavery and Beyond Series”, which if you haven’t check out, you should.

In this book we are introduced to Jimmy Montgomery, whose discovery of his true identity leads him on a journey to both his past and future. The destination turns out to be the Black Wall Street district of Tulsa, Oklahoma known as Greenwood. The story covers a period of time leading up to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

Allen is a phenomenal storyteller and historian and does an excellent job of blending fact and
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Am I the oversized mongrel?’

Anthony Robert Allen continues this series SLAVERY AND BEYOND with this fourth installment LIVING IN THE MIDDLE. The New York City made his literary debut with an exceptionally fine novel – FAILED MOMENTS, Book 1 of the SLAVERY AND BEYOND series - that is based on the `what if’ concept - having the possibility to correct wrongs or change life by going back in time and doing things differently. The story is solid, the writing excellent (Allen is a college administrato
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Living in the Middle was the 4th book in the ‘Slavery and Beyond’ series by A. Robert Allen, and in my opinion it was his best offering yet. Set mostly in Tulsa in the years following the Great War this novel revolved around a young man from a wealthy white family, James Montgomery III (Jimmy). Just as Jimmy is about to begin studying at prestigious Columbia his father dies, and he learns the truth about his heritage – he is black. Jimmy’s life is turned upside down as he struggles to decide wh ...more
Lacey Garcia
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is the fourth book in the Slavery and Beyond Series, but can be read as a standalone (which is how I read it). I was gifted a copy of the book in return for my honest review.

The book follows the main character, Jimmy Montgomery, from New York to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first half of the book covers the issue of the different tones of skin color and how that is perceived then (early 1900s) and probably how it is perceived now. That's such a sad statement given how many years have passed si
Living in the Middle is part of a series of historical fiction novels based on slavery up to events in Tulsa 1921. Luckily each works as a standalone book. This is my introduction to this series.

Despite a shaky start,the reader gets a view into the life of James Montgomery III. A young man born to a wealthy family in New York and is about to go to a prestigious university. But his father dies suddenly and he is confronted with an unpleasant truth. This leads him to make a decision that changes
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
I received a free advanced copy of the ebook for this title in exchange for an honest review.

A. Robert Allen takes readers back in time, once again, to make acquaintances and bear witness to The lingering effects of slavery. The setting for this fourth book in the series Slavery and Beyond spans to other parts of the nation as key characters left New York City to try their luck in Oklahoma where educated, professional and business-minded African Americans have built a solid and prosperous town w
Bonnye Reed
Living in the Middle is the 4th volume of the Slavery and Beyond Series, but as are they all, completely stand alone. We begin exploring the life of James Montgomery III as he returns to NYC in 1915 from boarding school prior to beginning college at Columbia, only to see his father die and his mother expels him from her life, telling him that he is not her child and he is disowned. His father arranged for his college to be paid for, but when that is over he is never to darken her door again. Oh, ...more
Gail A.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author is brilliant in setting the stage for racial tension and hateful divide. It is the early 1900’s in New Jimmy, one of the main characters finds out that the white mother that raised him was not really his mother.’ His biological mother,is black. Jimmy became aware of this when his father passed away and his mother that raised made it clear that she despised him.. The long time family cook and housekeeper, Benjamin, a black man that knew of Jimmy's identity took Jimmy to his ...more
Rita Kroon
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Living in the Middle by A. Robert Allen
Volume 4 of the Slavery and Beyond Series

This historical novel takes place in Greenwood, Oklahoma, 1919-1921. Greenwood is a section of Tulsa where the Black people carved out their own independent community on the north side of the tracks.
The main character, Jimmy Montgomery, was raised as a White child in an affluent White neighborhood. After graduation from high school, Jimmy looked forward to attending a prestigious White college. Then he received a let
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"Jimmy sat up and hoped to see her impressive dimples fire in his direction when she opened her eyes. Instead, he saw a look of fear and terror. Outside the restaurant window, two fully robed Klansmen dangled a noose while pointing at Jimmy."

This factual historical novel is based on a the life of a young man, and the time period of which he lived. The story begins in 1915. Jimmy Montgomery was raised in New York, and from an affluent family. Discovery of a family secret sets him on a journey.

Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having just read this book I am at a loss as to what to say,
The sense of injustice that I feel is overwhelming, knowing that these things actually happened (and in some degree still happening) to whole areas and communities of people simply because of the colour of their skin is quite hard to take in. To think that organisations like the KKK existed with so called upright white citizens at it’s heart is sickening.
Jimmy Montgomery has lived his whole life thinking he was a fortunate white boy fro
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I loved this book, the only thing I can complain about is that it was a bit too short. Otherwise, it was a perfectly told story of the insecurities and lonesomeness of not fitting in anywhere and fitting in everywhere while living a bi-racial life in the early 1900's. It was full of drama and pleasure, fears and triumphs, White privilege and despair; which are fine tuned writing skills that I have come to notice as a unique writing style for this author. He gives you a complete unders ...more
John Guerrieri
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mr. A. Robert Allen has done it again with a brilliant novel that has historical events from the early 1900s with captivating events about racism, slavery and the KKK. I have read all four books and this is one of my favorites.
The story is about a young man, Jimmy Montgomery who was supposedly born to a wealthy white family. He finds out that his father had fallen in love with a black woman during the post-reconstruction era in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They had Jimmy, but Jimmy does not find out until
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing historical fiction novel, New York. - 1915. The story begins with Dorothy and James Montgomery living off Old New York money from their wealthy ancestors. The story continues when James (Jimmy) Montgomery is born through an inter-racial relationship with Dorothy and James Montgomery. Dorothy being a colored girl, James raised their son in an upper class wealthy neighborhood because his skin was so white at birth.

As Jimmy gets ready for college, his father, James died. Benyj, an old co
Debra Miller
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Living in the Middle was a very gritty, realistic tale of a man trying to exist in a world that suddenly changed. Finding out that his biological mother was a woman of color, rather than the woman he called mother shakes his world to the very foundations. Rejected by the only "mother" he knew, yet accepted at least partially into the world he didn't know -- the world of Black men and women -- he struggles to reclaim his identity and to learn how to survive in a world without the privileges that ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the latest book in this authors, Slavery and beyond series. I have read all of them so far, and love the way the author tells us the history of the period through his main characters eyes.
This story begins in the early 1900's .
The main character writes a poem called:
Life in the Middle by James Montgomery
My father died in a penthouse
My Mother lives in a shack.
Can I live in the middle?
I'm neither white nor black.
This to me sets the tone for the story as young Jimmy Motgomery, tries to fi
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this latest novel in the "Slavery and Beyond" series. As in his earlier novels Mr. Allen creatively weaves historical events from the early 1900's into his story of Jimmy Montgomery who was born to a Black woman and a White man who fell in love during post-reconstruction in the south. Their mixed race son would grow up passing as a white boy only to learn of his identity when an unfortunate life event occurs when Jimmy turns 18. The chronicles of his self searching and choices ...more
Kayla Tornello
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
I loved that this book was based off some real-life events. The story really brought to life what it was like to face such strong racism and violence. I also liked that the story was set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I haven't read too many stories from that setting. The characters all seemed very authentic. None of them were prefect and the different viewpoints in the community caused a lot of disharmony. I was really rooting for the main characters to succeed!
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed Living in the Middle. His book is a quick read, action packed, and the characters move along quite nicely. In this recent historical fiction, I was introduced to the KKK and their activities in Oklahoma. Loved the research on this book. His main character moves from Columbia to the rustic real world of Oklahoma.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was another great book in the Slavery and Beyond series. This story tells of mixed race Jimmy who was raised as a wealthy white young man, but decided to live as his true self as a black man instead of straddling the two worlds. He moves from NYC to Tulsa and sees the hatred and discrimination that exists in the south first hand. The story leads up to the riot that took so many human lives when the whites use an accused rape to destroy the area that the black families lives in.
Mr. Allen doe
Dee Cherry
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my first read by this author. While this was the fourth book in the series, Slavery and Beyond, it did read as a standalone. An electronic copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
The main character Jimmy, was raised as white until his graduation. Once he found out the truth, he traveled to Greenwood, also known as The Black Wall Street, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was in search of his biological Black mother, Glory. Jimmy's arrival did cause turmoil due to his almost whi
Kimberly D.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very thought provoking book. It is also just as relevant today. Hatred based on perception of color, religion or sex is just a relevant of a problem today as it was 100 years ago. Though light on past mistakes can guide us to make better and more educated choices we must first look at the light. It is painful to look at the ugly, the unattractive, and the truth. The truth hurts, but the truth also sets you free. I believe we can only hope to move toward a better future by first looking ...more
Terry S
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can you say about an author who takes a snapshot in history and transforms it into an informative, captivating novel? A. Robert Allen is that author. His latest book focuses on race relations in the early 20th century in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that are rarely mentioned or given little awareness.

The heart of “Living in the Middle” centers on biracial identity issues and racial differences. Jimmy Montgomery is the main character in the story and he strikes every emotional chord from the first chapt
Rhonda Holle
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Living In The Middle, by A. Robert Allen

The story of James Montgomery III from New York, to discovering true roots is a backward and forward look at his life and the lives of everyone James has met. James has many questions and decisions to make before he can determine where his life will go.

I enjoyed the unfolding of the very real history that made me cringe and feel so much sadness for the troubles this young man and his family endured during one of the worst times of the KKK. The events are
Dan Salisbury
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of being asked to read an early copy of this to review. At first I was apprehensive, thinking I'm not exactly a historical expert on race. I was immediately drawn into the main character. Her was written in a way to make me actually feel his inner battle. I enjoy books that transform me into the story and make me feel vested, and this book definitely fulfilled that for sure...
I'll be quite honest..... Before this book, I had no idea of this story in our history..... Eye open
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a thought provoking book! This book is about a mixed race man who grew up white, but when his father dies he finds out that the woman he thought was his mother is actually his step-mother and his biological mother is black. He now has a very difficult decision to make; to live as white or black. Each brings it's own challenges, but the main character must decide which way will allow him to be true to himself. Great read, with a lot of suspenseful and heart breaking moments.
Sarah Parrales
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great story, well planned and organized the things that the author writes about are life changing and challenging a book that once you start reading you can’t put down until you know the ending! Everything in this book can give the reader something to think about when you just try to imagine life during that era how troubled being in the middle of, well you will need to read the story to know the rest of this amazing story and thanks you to the author for such a great story! Great story!
gerri barsotti
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good easy reading. This book is based on the time at the beginning of 20th century and what us was like being a person who was half white and half a person of color. The choice had to be made whether to live as s white person or a person of color. The roads to life are quite different
Linda Rogers
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated by this book because I knew nothing about the Tulsa/Greemwood Riot or about black/white relations during the early 1900's. This story is about Jimmy who was raised as a wealthy white child in New York. He has a strong relationship with his father and a very difficult one with his mother. Upon graduation from high school, he returns home from Boarding School to find his parents arguing with his father having a heart attack and dies. His mother tells him she will support him throu ...more
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A. Robert Allen has published four volumes and two prequels in his Slavery and Beyond series. All are stand-alone novels connected by theme. He writes historical fiction that transports readers to times and places immediately before or soon after the end of slavery. A. Robert is a long-time higher education professional and resides in New York. The first volume in the series, Failed Moments, is a ...more