In 1968, Jeannie Glazer, a college student, becomes involved with a radical group intent not just on peaceful protest but also on bringing about changes by whatever means necessary. When Jeannie is arrested during a protest in Chicago, she hopes her boyfriend and fellow protester will get her out of jail. Yet, when she’s bailed out, she is given an envelope with $200 in it and a bus ticket home to New York. The police officer tells her that it came from her father. But she knows that can’t be because he’s been dead for years. And just when she’s too deep inside the radical movement to leave, she meets a young man who helps her escape. Could he be an FBI informant, or is someone watching out for her? Rattled by these questions, she decides she must find out what happened to her father. Her discoveries could expose secrets that affect her whole family.
Cathy Rath has written a family saga that is both engaging and riveting. I like the way she devoted chapters to different family members, allowing the reader to learn about the life of each individual and gain a complete picture of the family as a whole and the dynamics that made them unique. I thought there was quite a lot of depth to each character, and I liked the fact that Jeannie was a determined young woman with not just a secret to uncover but someone trying to navigate life on her own terms.
I found the story to be wonderfully descriptive and very good at bringing in significant social issues of the time. I do, however, wish a little more care had been taken when using Southern slang, especially the word “y’all,” which stands for “you all.” Several times it was used in the wrong sense when only one person was being addressed. I always find this irksome. Also, as much as we would like to swim in our pools in March and gaze out at lemon trees on the veranda, the weather as far north as Atlanta simply doesn’t allow for this. We are more likely to enjoy azaleas and dogwoods at this time.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. By the time I finished it, I felt that I had come to know the Glazer family inside and out. I wouldn’t mind reading more about what happened to Jeannie and how things turned out with Phil. I hope there will be more from Rath in the future.
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