Because who can afford books in this economy?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Indiana by N.C. Weyl

Title: Indiana
Author: N.C. Weyl
Published: February 2010
Source: Received from author for review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Indiana, by N.C. Weyl, is an intimate and often unsettling view into the heart of middle America in the 1930s. In a community where poverty and racism are a sub-theme of existence, readers are introduced to Samantha (Sam), a child who witnesses a terrible crime and must decide between revealing the shooter—the kindly, slow-witted Mr. Purdy who acted out of a need to protect—or letting an innocent man—the brutal and racist father of the woman attacked—go to prison for a crime he did not commit. Thrown into the mix of this drama-based-on-reality is the role of the Ku Klux Klan, the attitudes toward intermarriage and mixed-race children, and one community’s ability to change with the times…or remain inert and provincial. This is a compelling story, told from the viewpoints of multiple characters—primarily innocent children forced to make courageous decisions—and how injustice and intolerance can affect a family…and an entire community.

If I hadn't received this book for review, I probably wouldn't have finished it. The first half of the book is very slow, despite the alternating view points. I would have missed out, because I tore through the second half of the book in half the time it took me to get through the first.

I think that a problem that I had with this book is that not much really happened until a certain point. I suppose that I was supposed to get to know the characters, but I wish that it had been a little more interesting. The main viewpoints are of Sam, a teenage girl, her father the pastor, and her little brother Tyler. I really liked it when Tyler was narrating, he was a very smart kid.

This book doesn't flinch away from graphic things, but there's nothing too out of hand. I thought that the author portrayed racism in the 1930's well, and made it just as sickening as I have no doubt it was. There's little bit of romance, but not much. I could have gone for more, especially in the first half. The ending had me staring at the page in almost shock because that is definitely not how I expected it to end.

Basically, there's a slow start, but once you get about halfway it picks up and is hard to put down. I enjoyed a lot of it.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 7/10
Originality: 8/10
Plot: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 36/50 C-
Cover/Title: I like them both. The cover fits well with the story and sets the mood, and the title fits also.


  1. I'm glad the book picked up! It sounds like it deals with some interesting stuff, so I'd love to read it sometime. Great review!

  2. First I just clicked over to read this review b/c I'm from Indiana! It sounds like a pretty fascinating story though. I love books that surprise you and make you think. It's just too bad that the beginning was so slooow! So glad I found you through the Hop :)


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