Monday, June 28, 2010
Indiana by N.C. Weyl
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.
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.