Racism Past and Present : Dreamland Burning Review

Posted April 18, 2017 by barbaraallen in Blog, Book Review, Reviews / 0 Comments

Racism Past and Present : Dreamland Burning ReviewDreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
Published by Little on February 21st 2017
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Where to Buy:
Barnes & Noble|Amazon
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4.5 Stars


Some bodies won’t stay buried.Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past... and the present.
Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns.
Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important question about the complex state of US race relations – both yesterday and today.

Latham weaves the past and the present together with this eye-opening tale set in Tulsa.  Every time you think you know the identity of the body, the author throws in another detail leading you to another possible victim.  History and the modern world collide.  In many places racism has diminished, in some, it thrives.  Latham provides a look into a more dangerous and grittier time where the KKK rules with an iron fist. Rowan must step outside her comfortable wealthy life and see life on the not so luxurious side of town. With Arvin’s death, she learns that the world is not a perfect place  Her sheltered world tears apart and she must face reality.

Will Rowan discover the identity the dead body in her backyard? What deep dark secret does the body keep? Can Rowan deal with the consequences of her wreck?  Should the man that pushed Arvin to be considered guilty of a crime?

Will faces his own moral code.  He transforms from city bad boy to a respectable young man.  He learns the true meaning of fear when he attempts to save his new friends from the hands of those that would do them harm. He learns the darkness that can hide in “good” men’s souls.  As the Tulsa riots unfold before him, Will sees people he grew up with in a new light.  He learns that “friends” are not defined by skin color, but by actions. Can Will face his father after the actions he takes in the riots? Will he even survive the night?

 

Racism as a topic of discussion resonates in the world around us.  This novel hits on the hard subject and does so with brilliance and grace. Latham’s novel allows readers to see inside a world they are not exposed to, just like her main character Rowan

For more about the book and its author: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/jennifer-latham/dreamland-burning/9780316384933/

4.5 Stars

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