- MemberMarch 2, 2021 at 10:32 pm
This is a fun, entertaining and well written novel that just happens to also address the timely and serious topic of racial profiling. From these comments do I by no means intend to state that the novel does not take the matter seriously, as it does indeed and is well pointed out, but the major plot twist within the story and the characters and how they interact with each other does make for a good, enjoyable read with many lessons learned at the end about our society and ourselves.
The story centers around Emira Tucker, a young black lady who has graduated from college but finds herself babysitting for a white family as her primary job while wanting to find something better so she can ‘keep up’ with her other friends, who all have more ‘serious’ jobs. One night, her employer, an upper middle class white lady named Alix Chamberlain, calls Emira and asks her if she would be willing to pick up her daughter Briana from her house and take her to the local market to buy some candy or nuts, anything to entertain her daughter. Alix and her husband have had an assault on their house and she does not want Briana there when the police arrive. So, Emira, who is out with some friends for a birthday party so is dressed in casual, ‘party’ clothes, agrees to leave the party immediately and go by and pick up Briana.
What happens next at the market is absolutely despicable and appalling and sets the story in motion. Even though the little girl, Briana, who is just smitten with Emira, is not crying or misbehaving or in anyway being mistreated, a lady in the store reports Emira to the security guard on duty out of suspicion of Emira having kidnapped Briana. While a confrontation takes place, someone else in the store, a young white man by the name of Kelly, videos the whole event. Eventually the father of the little girl, Peter, is called and he comes in to the store and confirms that Emira is the babysitter. Kelly tells Emira that she needs to post the video but, even though she is confused, angry and humiliated about the episode, she does not want it to be released and demands that Kelly delete it. Before he does though, he sends it Emira in case she decides later she wants to release it.
All of this leads to events that will eventually come back to that unfortunate night. Emira meets Kelly by accident later on, they begin dating, she hangs out with her friends and begins to think about future but most importantly she realizes things about her employers that she never had before. There is a twist that some might find somewhat unrealistic but I thought it was a great addition to the story.
This is a read that keeps you pulled in and so you will go through it fast. What I find hard to believe is that this is a debut novel. Definitely a good first one!
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