Friday, March 27, 2015

Book review - Black Dove, White Raven

Title: Black Dove, White Raven
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: historical fiction
Similar books: Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
                     Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Pretty epic

Summary: Rhoda, Emilia, and Teo moved to Ethiopia from the United States in the 1930s. They wanted to escape the racial tensions and judgement that came along with a white woman raising a black child. They fell in love with their new country. When war with Italy threatens, they find themselves caught up in a new conflict. Will their new country save them or tear them apart?

My Opinion: Dual perspective, journal style writing can be hard to pull off but Wein is more than up to the task. The sheer scope of this novel may be off-putting for some but it is well worth the effort. This novel is a great source of cultural and historical education. It gives the reader a great deal to think about and discuss. The issues at play here (slavery, racial equality, colonialism, etc) are complex and have no simple resolution. It portrays each character's perspective not as "right" but as emphatic. And I like that the ending isn't a simply happy-ever-after but a sense of growth and ongoing change.
More information: Black Dove, White Raven releases March 31.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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