A Life Apart
L. Y. Marlow
Broadway, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Barbara Lingens
n the Civil Rights era when it was still unthinkable for blacks and whites to socialize, a white man and black woman try to manage their attraction. This story, long in some places and quite short in others, delves into what such separation means for those who are willing to see beyond race.
fter World War II Morris returns wounded from the Pacific to a family who loves him but cannot understand what he has endured. He is continually haunted by the fact that his life was saved by another man, Robert, who lost his. Morris can only imagine what Robert's family is going through and is determined to track them down to pay his respects and tell them what a hero their son is. Beatrice, Robert's sister, is the one who answers Morris' call. She cannot believe that a white man would come to thank a black family.
ow their relationship affects the two of them as well as Morris' family is spun out in these pages. Even though everyone acts honorably, they are mindful of the society around them and know that certain lines just cannot be crossed. It is decades before the truth can be confronted and worked through.
hough the story is very interesting, there are some deficiencies. The author repeats too many times in the same language the sufferings of Agnes, Morris' wife, and it feels like we are just getting to know the characters on the surface.
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