This is Tiffany McDaniel’s debut novel, and let me tell you… that is one hell of a novel! Set in the Midwestern town of Breathed in the mid-80’s, The Summer That Melted Everything is a story about the strange happenings surrounding the arrival of a young black boy. True to time and setting, we are thrust into a saga that tackles everything from racism, prejudice, small-town mob mentality, homophobia, and HIV/AIDS. It’s easy to want to turn my back on a narrative that normalizes these cringe worthy characters, but McDaniel manages to infuse so much compassion and empathy in these people that I find myself strangely drawn to the anti-heroes of her tale. Continue Reading “The Summer that Melted Everything – TIFFANY MCDANIEL”
Books essentially are time capsules. A writer can commune with us from any time period and from any locale. Stories transcend space and time. Sometimes without rhyme or reason. That is the case with Haruki Murakami’s excellent 1994 novel “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.”
Delivery nurse Ruth, a black woman, is given the directive not to touch the newborn baby of white supremacist Turk and his wife Brit. She is shaken by this injustice, for she has lived her life as an upstanding citizen. When the infant goes into cardiac arrest Ruth, being the only available caretaker nearby, takes a split second too long to help save his life. The baby dies at Ruth’s fingertips. Containing his grief from spilling into violence, Turk puts Ruth on trial. She now faces a life behind bars.