This is an incredibly compelling powerful book about a young girl with dark skin and a sharp mind.
I didn't read ANYTHING on this book before I bought it. I did not want any preconceived notions about it. I must say it was a captivating read and I wish filmmakers did not butcher novels because I would LOVE to see this on screen!
Having been an Air Force brat, I grew up in predominantly white neighborhoods, went to school with mostly white kids, and lived primarily in the northern states. I can't recall ever having to deal with skin tone issues within black culture. There were so few of us, and we all probably went to the same church, I think we just stuck together. It wasn't until I moved to the South that I learned that there is a skin tone hierarchy and depending on the tone of your skin, you can be judged by what kind of person you are, whether or not you will date, earn more, etc.
The crux of the skin tone issue is the foundation of this story. Tangy Mae is the dark skinned child of a woman who has bore 10 children, all by different men. She treats her lighter toned children better than her darker ones. Tells Tangy Mae that no men will want her ---she's too dark. Mama Rozelle is a mentally disturbed, evil, conniving woman who commits the ultimate in motherly sins. Despite this and other physical, emotional, verbal abuses, Tangy manages to be the only one of the 10 children to make it through high school and graduate... HOW she makes it is quite the story.
I would read this book again and again... so many things at the end refer back to the beginning and finding out more and more thing about what made Rozelle the way she was... fascinating. A very good debut novel, I look forward to more from this author.
I read it in one day, absolutely could not put it down. I'd recommend it if you're looking for a powerful and captivating read.