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The revisioners : a novel

by Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 28 copies
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Summary

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

"Sexton takes on [Toni Morrison's artful invocation of the ghost] in her new novel The Revisioners . . . She writes with such a clear sense of place and time that each of these intermingled stories feels essential and dramatic in its own way." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"A powerful tale of racial tensions across generations." -- People

In 1924, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine's family.

Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine's descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother, Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays Ava to be her companion. But Martha's behavior soon becomes erratic, then threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine's converge.

The Revisioners explores the depths of women's relationships--powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between mothers and their children, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.

"[A] stunning new novel . . . Sexton's writing is clear and uncluttered, the dialogue authentic, with all the cadences of real speech... This is a novel about the women, the mothers." ― New York Times Book Review

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When Ava and her son, King, move in with Ava's white grandmother, Ava brings a picture of Josephine, her enslaved ancestor who purchased her own farm in 1925. Sexton's (A Kind of Freedom, 2017) powerful, deeply personal second novel alternates between Ava's and Josephine's stories as each woman learns the boundaries of what she can endure amidst racial injustice. King makes friends with two white girls at his new school, but Ava wonders if this is safe. Ava's grandmother starts to deteriorate and threaten them but can they afford to leave her house? Meanwhile, Josephine's family helps its enslaver's wife with a problematic pregnancy. Will they be blamed? Ava and Josephine each constantly navigate the dangerous inequities of their eras. It's rare for dual narratives to be equally compelling, and Sexton achieves this while illustrating the impact of slavery long after its formal end. Nurturing, motherhood, and pregnancy rise up as important themes. Readers will engage fully in this compelling story of African American women who have power in a culture that attempts to dismantle it.--Emily Dziuban Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Sexton (A Kind of Freedom) returns with this excellent story of a New Orleans family's ascent from slavery to freedom, paying poetic tribute to their fearlessness and a "mind magic" that fixes the present, sees into the future, and calls out from the past. In alternating chapters, two women tell their haunting, frightening, and ultimately uplifting stories: Ava, a mixed-race single mom struggling to establish a career and raise a teenage son in 2017, and her great-great-grandmother Josephine, a former slave who in 1924 proudly runs the family farm. Ava's decision to be the caregiver for her rich white grandmother, Martha, as she slips into dementia will trigger disturbing premonitions for her own cancer-stricken mother, a doula named Gladys. Josephine's story focuses largely on her struggle to turn over management of the family farm to a son intent on standing up to the Klan--and a troubling interaction with a shy white neighbor who seeks out Josephine's rumored powers to get pregnant and appease an abusive husband. A chilling plot twist reveals the insidious racial divide that stretches through the generations, but it's the larger message that's so timely. "Ain't no use in hate," Josephine's mother advises. "Whatever you trying to get away from, hate just binds you to it." This novel is both powerful and full of hope. (Nov.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women -- Fiction.
Race relations -- Fiction.
African American families -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Publisher Berkeley, California :2019
Edition First hardcover edition.
Language English
Description 280 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 9781640092587
1640092587
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