When Aria Jackson was nine, she lived through a car crash that killed her father and baby brother. The tragedy left the surviving members wounded by rage and guilt, pulling away from each other in an attempt to distance themselves from the pain. At 25, Aria has done her best to establish a normal life for herself, living in Atlanta and teaching literacy to inner-city teenaged girls. For the first time, she has people who love her and in whom she can confide. And when she discovers that she may be pregnant, Aria is seduced by the promise of a normal family. Then everything changes in ways she never anticipated. As she unearths secrets about family and friends and mediates between her past and her altered reality, she searches for the courage to divulge one heartbreaking revelation after another. With prose that is both eloquent and unflinching, Jones charts the emotional journey of her characters as they explore the painful territory of truth and the healing landscape of forgiveness.
The legacy of a fatal accident haunts surviving family members in Jones's deep-felt second novel (after Leaving Atlanta). As a young girl, native Atlantan Aria Jackson lost her father and baby sister in a car accident; her inability to comfort her dying father, and her mother's failed effort to save the baby, have damaged their relationship. After graduating from Spelman, Aria goes to work at a local literacy center, where she is drawn to outspoken Keisha Evers, a young teen pregnant with her second child. When Aria believes she is pregnant, she confides in Keisha before sharing the news with her fiance, Dwayne. But when mysterious cramping sends her to the doctor, Aria learns that she is not pregnant but instead experiencing very early menopause. Reluctant to tell Dwayne the truth, Aria claims to have lost the baby. Dwayne's desire for a child remains strong, and Aria watches with growing envy as Keisha's pregnancy progresses. When a second doctor confirms Aria's condition, she is forced to make difficult choices with the shadow of her past looming over her. The first-person narration is convincing and genuine, and Jones handles her material with sensitivity and sympathy. This strong sophomore effort will bolster her reputation. (Apr. 18) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Grand Central Publishing
April 11, 2006
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