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Anne Moose
Author
Arkansas Summer
Anne Moose, author
Arkansas Summer is a powerful novel about love and racial terror in the Jim Crow South. It's 1955, and Catherine has joined her father in Arkansas after her grandfather's death. She's a California college student, and it's her first visit to her grandparents' farm since the summer she was nine. When she is reunited with Jimmy, whom she'd played with as a child, the two are immediately drawn to one another. They understand the dangers of their interracial attraction, but could never have imagined the far-reaching consequences of their untimely love. Arkansas Summer takes readers on an emotional journey of passion and suspense, all the while shining a spotlight on the twisted ethos and violence of the segregated South.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: The plot is well-executed. Set primarily in the Jim Crow South, the danger posed to a budding interracial relationship rings true.

Prose: The prose shines when conveying the details of the couple's budding romance, a deft illustration of the tenderness, discovery, and sense of invulnerability that comes with new love. But, in the preponderance of the novel, the writing is more workmanlike. There is a lot of hate in the small town, and in these portions of the book more showing and less telling is needed.

Originality: The work's plot is unique and engaging. While readers will see the interracial relationship coming, the conclusion of the work is a surprise. Readers have been lulled into a false sense of plot predictability, and are instead rewarded with a satisfying twist.

Character Development: The protagonists are well developed and feel like real people. The supporting characters read more like types than real people and could use further development.

Date Submitted: April 19, 2017

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