Synopsis: Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
My Thoughts: There were so many thoughts running through my mind as I read this book and they continue as I write this review. This book was tough, it was challenging and it was heavy.
The story revolves around 3 women…Camille, a white mother who’s life seems perfect from the outside, Jennifer, a white woman who has recently adopted a black child, and Anaya, an African American teacher who just got a job at Crystal Ridge…a school that is now accepting students from another district (the district Anaya grew up in) that has lost it’s accreditation. Tensions are high in the Crystal Ridge community as the residents are not happy with integrating new students into their school and throughout the school year, the reader sees the situation through the eyes of Camille, Jennifer, and Anaya.
I found it very interesting to walk in Anaya’s shoes. Honestly, I’ll admit that I am very ignorant to many of the race issues that black people face. This book really opened my eyes to the struggle and frustrations that occur within the black community. It also showed me that the problem is much bigger than I thought it was and made me wonder if it could ever be fixed.
I was challenged when I read this book. There were several times when I had to put the book down and google things that were referred to in history…I was appalled and heartbroken by the things I read. I was also frustrated that I had never learned about some of these events in school.
This book was amazing. Not only was it thought provoking and challenging…it was very well written and unputdownable. I had to keep reading and needed to find out more. I grew attached to each character and felt a connection to each one.
I highly, highly, highly recommend this book to everyone!
I received this book from Blogging for Books to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.