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Savannah J. Frierson
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Being Plumville

Adult; Romance; (Market)

Plumville, Georgia had an order to its way of life, and few ever upset it.

Benjamin Drummond is heir to all Plumville had to offer—wealth, good looks, and a promising career as a future state judge. As a graduating senior at a local college, he’s poised for success, if only he can keep his grades up. With the distractions of playing football, being in a fraternity, and having his pick of the women on campus, he has little incentive to study—until his assigned tutor turns out to be a black girl from his past who'd never left his mind...or heart.

Coralee Simmons is determined to make it out of Plumville with a diploma in her hand and dignity in her stride, despite a social climate determined to stifle both. And with her family and friends supporting her each step of the way, Coralee knows she will go far. Yet when her mentor provides a tutoring opportunity to increase her edge, she’s suddenly reunited with the white boy who'd meant too much to her as a child...and still did even now.

Set during the turbulent 1960s, Benjamin and Coralee experience change in a community unprepared and unwelcoming of it. Can a relationship rekindle and bloom under such adversity, or will it succumb in the battle for Plumville's status quo?

This novel is a 2016 LIBRARY JOURNAL Self-E selection.

In this dramatic novel, Friersos (The Sight: City of Sin) explores the pleasures and perils of interracial romance in 1968. In the nondescript Southern town of Plumville, Ga., Coralee Simmons, the daughter of black housekeeper Patty, and Benjamin Drummond, the son of Patty’s white employer, were childhood friends before Ben’s racist mother insisted that they be kept apart lest their friendship turn into love. Fifteen years later, quarterback Benjamin can’t pass his college English class, and Coralee is assigned to tutor him. Old feelings resurface just as tensions between races peak. The relationship has sweet tones, but Benjamin’s lack of growth is difficult to ignore, especially when contrasted with the abuse Coralee faces. Benjamin only comes to think about the issues of race because of his relationship, and doesn’t look beyond it. He allows his peers to use slurs with minimal chastisement and only gets truly upset when people turn on Coralee. A few scenes of sexual violence may be realistic, but they diminish the story’s romantic aspects. Despite this, the novel will be educational for anyone interested in the difficulties of making an interracial relationship work in the late 1960s South. (BookLife)