Jo (DeRidder LA)
The Air Between Us
The author does a good job of describing the racial tension in the south in the 1960s which I also lived with. The end of the book is a twist which gives the reader a surprise. I didn't feel that all the characters were well developed and some relationships not quite believable. Some of the plot lines could have been more fully developed in the early part of the book, instead it seemed to quickly come together in the end. In all a good read.
Linda (Phoenix NY)
The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson
This book is set in a small Mississippi town in the 60's where school integration is as inevitable as it is unwelcome. The story catches you from the start like the rivers current that runs behind Miss Melba's cottage. You're swept along through all the characters lives, each bend revealing a sweet surprise or a nasty secret. From history to mystery, this book has it all.
Ruth (Westport MA)
the air between us by Deborah Johnson
The 50's and 60's were fraught with confusion, anger and hope as America began its attempt to put away the sentiments of prejudice and bigotry which ignorance had fostered. Deborah Johnson employs Revere, Mississippi as the setting for one town's struggle with the concept of equality between the races. Much of the struggle takes place below the surface as the individuals begin to recognize the ghosts of the past are of importance to their furture. Ms. Johnson portrays a town of people each of whom is caught in his own struggle while trying to create a school system providing equal education - but at the price of the separateness that they want preserved as their protection against their own fears of the future. These people have grown intricately woven relationships which are physically and emotionally so intertwined that merely "the air between" them keeps them separate.
Karen (Pittsburgh PA)
Vivid portrayal of a small Mississippi town's struggle with integration.
Deborah Johnson's book, "The Air Between Us", set several decades after "To Kill a Mockingbird", offers up some of the same compelling themes found in Harper Lee's classic; justice, conscience, racism and moral leadership. Dr. Reese Jackson, a hero to the entire black community and the first highly successful surgeon, and Dr. Cooper Connelly, Chief Surgeon at Doctor's Hospital and son of a white, bigoted state senator. These are two flawed heroes provide the reader access to these two very separate communities in Revere, Mississippi.
I especially enjoyed the parts of the book which offered Miss Melba's and Cooper Connelly's perspective on their small town's struggle with integration even though I found the book to be uneven. The first part moves along a little too slowly and some subplots tend to be dropped or tied up too quickly at the end. However, I would strongly recommend this book to book groups because of its compelling characters and interesting plot.
Janet (dubuque IA)
The Air Between Us
Many of the people in the novel have secrets. I was compelled to keep reading to discover motivations and histories and to learn the answers. I thought the relationship between Dr. Connelly and Miss Melba Obrenski was rather unrealistic given the racial tension and gossip network in the town, but in spite of that, I enjoyed the book.
Harriette (Northbrook IL)
the air between us
The era of integration and impending desegregation is the backdrop for an engrossing character driven story of the people of a small town in Mississippi. A mystery unfolds as the protaganists, a white doctor and a black doctor, face the problems and the questions that arise. The story grabbed me immediately and held my interest to the end. Most of the main characters are very fully drawn and the author truly gets the feel of a small southern town of the times. Besides being an excellent read, we are reminded that even though we've come a long way in race relations, we have not come far enough ... Read it!