This story is a realistic fiction that takes place a generation after the great black migration from the rural south to the industrial north. It is a story about what happened to the aspirations of some that came hoping to find the Promised Land and found hardship and poverty. However, in the generation that followed, the burden of Jim Crow lifted and the opportunity to leave the confines of ghetto life opened in response to the civil rights movement. There are many stories that arise from this racial history; this is just one of them. Born to a mother who dies during his birth, and raised in a poor black community by a depressive father, David Walton builds a fantasy of who his mother would have been and that dream haunts his life. An exceptional athlete and a troubled high school student going nowhere, David’s after school janitorial job unwittingly prepared him for an unexpected and fascinating life. A life that was only envisioned by a perceptive and erudite engineer who gave him a chance, and by his father’s blind faith. Testing well above average, the army trains David in military intelligence where he excels and is decorated and promoted. While working at the Pentagon he meets a love interest, Valerie, who bares him two children to whom he is committed. Although never married, Valerie and the children stay in his life even after he leaves the army and is recruited by the CIA. Here he is partnered with the talented and sophisticated Ken Carle who becomes David’s lifetime friend and together they romp through the world of espionage and are lauded for their work. They even stop to smell the roses, and sometimes pluck them. An undefined yearning drives David out of the CIA and into college where he is seduced by western liberal arts and follows a life of science. He becomes a university professor teaching and doing research in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. Here he meets and falls unquenchably in love with Ann Hickman on who he projects the fantasies he has of his dead mother and who fits what he thinks he has always wanted. Together David and Ann, who is married with children, fulfill each other and the height of their love unfolds in Paris in May. It is a love affair that will leave you wanting more. But sometimes we have to wait.
PARIS IN MAY
BY D. A. GREY ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
A debut novel follows a man who endures personal loss and racial discrimination as a devoted parent, CIA agent, and university professor.
As a person of color growing up in 1950s America, David Walton is no stranger to racism. In high school, his paper on buffalo soldiers results in his teacher accusing him of plagiarism, merely due to her ignorance of the subject. But his intellect scores the teenager a job at an engineering firm. It’s also the reason he becomes an intelligence analyst in the Army as well as an analyst and field operative later for the CIA. In the meantime, David falls for Valerie Olephant, and they have two sons together. He’s a dedicated father, though his relationship with Valerie sadly doesn’t last. David’s CIA work, pairing him with mathematician Ken Carle, can be dangerous, like their assignment to thwart whoever is intercepting money and weapons shipments intended for Sudanese rebels. In subsequent years, David earns a doctorate in psychology and becomes a university professor. He also falls in love with Ann Hickman, a romance complicated by her husband, Philip, whose company, Tremont Pharmaceutical, is responsible for the antidepressant drug David believes killed a loved one. Grey skillfully builds a stable foundation for the characters, especially David, with an occasional focus on Ken and Philip as well. The smart, deliberately paced prose gradually molds David into a stalwart, likable hero. He suffers racism, but the story covers all aspects of his life, including playing baseball in high school and aiming to break a home run record. While David’s CIA mission involves an arms dealer and a potential mole, this espionage subplot showcases skilled operatives and, therefore, offers minimal suspense. Still, David unflinchingly faces myriad obstacles in the engrossing novel; his affair with Ann, rather than being titillating, becomes a troubling love story.
An engaging coming-of-age tale that meticulously examines its audacious protagonist. (author bio)
Official Review: Paris in May by D.A Grey
Post by Jgideon » 29 May 2020, 08:26
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Paris in May" by Daine Grey.]
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Daine Grey’s Paris in May is a novel that would make any reader embrace every moment of his/her life. As a young man, David Walton witnessed the kind of hardships that his father, John Walton, had to go through to put food on the table. John was a single father who had a deep hole in his heart and nothing could ever fill, including material possessions. Enduring adversity, bullying, and racial discrimination, David chose to make his life meaningful.
The other major characters in the novel include Ken Carle, a young man from an affluent family who would later have David Walton as a colleague and close friend. Valerie, the mother of David Walton’s children, also takes up a role in shaping the life experiences of David.
My favorite character was Mr. Johnson aka Bootsy. His humility and skills with the piano were his strong suit. A suit that did not hinder him from performing his duties in the Carle family where he spent most of his time tending to the family’s horses and cleaning stables until his employer discovered his talent. Ken Carle, from the tender age of eleven years, became Bootsy’s piano student until he turned eighteen. The lessons that he learned from Bootsy made him earn a spot as one of the most talented musicians in New York.
How much can be contained in a human being? This was the question that lingered in my mind after reading this book. Author Grey put so much on the shoulders of the main character, yet everything seemed to play out perfectly. He switched careers several times without faltering from his major goal in life. Walton had several breakdowns that threatened to shatter his dream but he still managed to pull through each one of them successfully. Readers who love stories that revolve around resilience, personal development, and the meaning of life will find this book very enjoyable. Also, lovers of crime investigations will have a fair share of their preferences served as Walton tackles tasking jobs both in the military and in the CIA. The book has a few cuss words and adult content. I recommend it to adults only.
Undoubtedly, this book was professionally edited. I gave it a perfect rating: 4 out of 4 stars. I did not give it a lower rating because I did not have any difficulties while reading it. I can attribute this to the author’s ability to keep the novel captivating yet delivering great themes. There is nothing that I disliked in Paris in May.
Paris in May