Tillie Harris's life is in disarrayher husband is away on business, the boxes in her new home aren't unpacked, and the telephone isn't even connected yet. Though she's not due for another month, sudden labor pains force Tillie to reach out to her estranged father for help, a choice that means facing the painful memories she's been running from since she was a little girl.
An extraordinary debut from a talented new voice, Up from the Blue untangles the year in Tillie's life that changed everything: 1975, the year her mother disappeared.
Up from the Blue
I was barred from school for the day because Id been biting again. Whenever I pressed my teeth into one of my classmates, my teacher stopped the lesson and called, Tillie, Tillie. There was always a struggle as she tried to wrestle the hand or arm from my mouth, but I held onfighting until the last string of spit releasedbecause I liked to leave a mark.
Although I had nowhere to go, I got up early and sat on the front steps in my nightgown, knees together, bare feet arched to keep my legs off the cold concrete. American flags rose up the poles and flapped against the Sandia Mountains, pale gray in the distance, as lights popped on inside the little square houses of our neighborhood, each the same size with their well-mowed lawns and rectangular flower beds under the front windows.
Soon, the men from each home walked tall and purposefully out their doors, one after another, in their crisp blue uniforms or camouflage ...
Susan Henderson has gifted readers with a poignant story of family, resilience and hope "as we accompany Tillie on an emotional journey, which takes her to both the possibility of forgiveness and a future not determined by the bonds of her past".
(Reviewed by Jennifer Dawson Oakes).
Full Review (965 words).
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down its judgment for Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas. In their landmark unanimous (9-0) decision, the Court stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal", and thus ruled segregation to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. This ruling overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson "separate but equal" decision of 1896 which had reinforced segregation, paving the way for integration and the civil rights movement.
Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, by the late 1960s many schools remained effectively segregated due to ...
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"Rarely has an author succeeded so splendidly at making real the inexplicable event (here a life-threatening childbirth) while also reminding us of the struggle between sisters, the enchantment of love, and the kindness of others. Do not miss this novel!"
A spellbinding novel about a troubled young girl and a family in crisis, and a gripping, astonishing portrait of recovery and self-determination.
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