Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel
In Two ’Til Midnight, author Bernard L. Dillard does an amazing job of storytelling while integrating several of today’s hard-to-discuss topics. The main story revolves around Dr. Garnet Gibbs, a professor at UNLV. Her adopted daughter, Jamay, and grandson, R.J., both live with her. Dr. Garnet is a very religious woman, and when topics such as gay relationships or racism are brought up, she is able to stand with her beliefs without offending the other party. I found this characteristic in Dr. Gibbs to be very impressive. Throughout the story, we learn that R.J.’s father is in the military and is stationed in Afghanistan. Both Jamay and R.J. miss him but also learn to accept that he is in another country fighting for America. R.J. is a great kid who is loved by his family and community. At one point, the topic of meeting friends online versus in person is portrayed in the book when R.J. goes to meet his friend Emily whom he met online at the local mall.
There are also characters in the community who all, in some way or another, know Dr. Gibbs or her family. Nieko is learning to deal with the fact that he is gay and single without hating himself. He questions himself all throughout the book and finds himself second-guessing the decisions he makes. One part of the story that I was confused about at first was that of the introduction of angels and demons. The book is religion-centric, however, with the sudden appearance of angels, such as Gabriel, Raphaela, and Uriel, and demons Belial, Mictian, and Ashtoreth the author creates a surreal atmosphere which could be considered surprising at first. These angels and demons battle throughout the book using humans as their targets and weapons against one another. In fact, the part of the book where R.J. meets Emily online is actually instigated by the demons. The argument between Leigh and Marge is also something to talk about. Their debate between the similarities and differences in the struggles of gay people versus African American people becomes a heated discussion at one point.
This book is not for the faint of heart. There are very serious topics that are spoken about throughout the book. The storyline is realistic with events that could happen any day of the week. Several people die or are brutally assaulted in the story and there is a very graphic sex scene towards the beginning of the book. All in all, I enjoyed the different topics the author chose to incorporate into this book.
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