LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.
Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.
Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal."
Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.
Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.
The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley is an historical fiction set in 1959. This was a time in our history where segregation was the norm. It was a time of ignorance and fear. Robin Talley captures these emotions with such accuracy that you feel the angst and anxiousness of the characters. She has done her research well and is able to instill these feelings and perceptions in story form and not in a preachy or textbook manner.
There are two main characters: Sarah, a high school senior that is one of several black students to integrate an all white high school, and Linda, a white senior whose father runs the town newspaper and has backward ideas about the differences between races. Before we truly get involved in the story of these two characters, Ms. Talley's opening chapters provide in-depth descriptions of the abuse and humiliation that the black students endure so that they can receive a better education. These chapters are so well written that our emotions rise to the surface, forced as we are to face a bigoted past as well as a barrage negative feelings concerning racial barriers.
Sarah and Linda are assigned to work on a project together. Though this does end up with both of them seeing life and each other differently, it is not written in an overly simplistic format. It is developed over time and with many rocky and violent moments that remind us that life is often neither simple nor easy. There is a twist that gradually becomes entwined in the story–a budding romance. The girls not only have to fight against racial barriers, but also against their developing sexuality.
We always hear that the past was such a simple time, well, this story shows another side, a side we should be aware of and understand. Ms. Talley has told a heart-wrenching tale that brightens with time. It is a story of strength, determination and change. It is well worth reading this story.
A BARRICADE IN HELL
Delia Martin #2
Jaime Lee Moyer
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it's 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan.
That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.
As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
I wrote a review for Delia's Shadow and when I finished that book, I hoped there would be a sequel. I so enjoyed the historical setting of 1900's San Francisco and the fact that the story was a mix of genres I love: Romance, mystery, and paranormal. So my wish came true, and Jaime Lee Moyer wrote a follow up story. YEA.
In A Barricade in Hell, we find that Delia and Gabe have been married for a couple of years. Gabe is still the police captain and Delia has been learning to hone her abilities at helping ghosts move on. Ms. Moyer has a knack for merging plot lines beautifully. Gabe is tracking a serial killer and Delia is haunted by a young girl. As the plot thickens, both of them come to the conclusion that a traveling evangelist seems to be at the center of the chaos. They need to join forces to find out what evil is surrounding the city and making people disappear. I love a good mystery and Ms. Moyer knows how to give us only enough information to keep us turning the pages in search of answers.
Yes, there are ghosts in these stories, but they are such a part of the fabric of the story that they're not over the top. If you're unsure about ghosts, you will likely still identify with Gabe who believes in solid police work to solve the crime, but he also realizes that there might just be something else out there given Delia's ability. Even though this is the second in a series, it is a stand alone story. I would recommend reading the first though because the characters are so endearing and the book is such a fun read. As you might guess, I am hoping that I will be able to write a review for a third in the series in the near future.
Find Jaime Lee:
These books were sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.