Saturday, June 22, 2013

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

Glow starts as the story of one woman and her daughter, caught in the danger of organizing a civil rights protest. It spirals outward to connect characters over hundreds of miles and several generations, using multiple narrators from the present and past to span the gap. Willie is the brightest part of the story and by far my favorite narrator, despite her introduction as a minor character. Her chapters are electric, encompassing some of the most heartbreaking and earnestly happy scenes in the book. All the other narrators expertly tell their own stories in engaging voices, except for one, who was so verbose I would often get lost, but only one chapter is from his point of view. Glow deals with the complex spectrum of early American racism, showcasing characters who are slaves, Native Americans, people of mixed parentage, or children of immigrants. It’s a painful and wistfully beautiful book with a heavy dash of the supernatural.

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