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The Air Between Us: Book summary and reviews of The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson

The Air Between Us

by Deborah Johnson

The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson X
The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

A captivating novel that will appeal to readers of The Secret Life of Bees and Mudbound about the fault lines – both seen and unseen – that lie in a small southern town as it struggles with integration.

Revere, Mississippi, is not unlike many small towns in the South during the 1960s, with black people living on one side of town and whites on the other. Both groups have their fair share of mysterious and interesting characters, and everyone has something to hide, or something they’re hiding from. When a poor white man is injured in what looks to be a typical hunting accident and is brought to the segregated Doctors Hospital and later dies, many truths long hidden begin to reveal themselves.

Perfect for summer reading, with an intriguing plot and characters with whom all readers can identify.

First published in hardcover in January 2008. Publishing in paperback in April 2009.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This heartwarming novel will strike a chord with fans of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees" - Booklist.

"Johnson offers a colorful, well-drawn story …Johnson's omniscient narrator gracefully glides through the tangle of associations that exist between the black residents and those who inhabit Revere's 'white' side. Told in folksy language and down-home idioms that only occasionally veer into corn pone, this enjoyable story evokes a world once hidden in plain sight, and the inevitability of its end." - The Washington Post.

"Johnson tries to squeeze too much out of the limited plot, but compelling character studies keep pages turning." - Publishers Weekly.

"In this engaging if oddly benign and probably revisionist take on the civil-rights upheaval, Mississippians cross racial lines with ease." - Kirkus Reviews.

"At the heart of the story are two physicians, African American Reese Jackson and Caucasian Cooper Connelly. Unfortunately, both are stereotypes. Worse, other characters are clichés ... " - Library Journal.

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Reader Reviews

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nina

The Air Between Us
Growing up in the South during this time (the 50's and 60's), I found this book very enjoyable and eye-opening. I think this book would appeal to others raised during this time that had a very limited understanding of the reasons for the integration conflicts. The plot was well constructed and moved along without time to be bored with any repetition . I would have liked for there to have been more background on most of the characters leading up to the time they all came together. I will recommend this book to my book club.

Linda

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.

Harriette

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!

Amy

Rich Characterization Kept Me Turning Pages
This is a pleasant southern novel that gently unfolds with rich characterization and sense of setting. In some ways simple, it is also very satisfying by the end. The characters really made this book.

Colleen

The Air Between Us
Deborah Johnson has written a wonderful story set in the South during the 1960's civil rights movement. Her writing style is superb and the story carries you along into the lives of people who were just trying to get along in life.

You meet characters that you can both love and hate and you really cannot put the book down until the end.

Marganna

I've Been There
I enjoyed this book - it held my attention and I can identity with the situation. I grew up in Texas long before integration so the book did seem believable. What is unbelievable is how things were in the South during my early years. I have memories of discrimination that I think couldn't have happened in my lifetime! When I read or watch stories about segregation/integration I often hang my head in sadness and grief.

This book brought up these feelings in me. For that reason it gets a "good". Although it is not a complex book, It is well written and clear. The writing style is simple; the story is engaging; the characters are well formed, three dimensional and I cared what happened to them. The mystery is driven by the characters and doesn't seemed forced. I found myself often thinking about the story and I wanted to know the conclusion - that also qualifies it as a good book, worthy of the read and I'd recommend it to a friend. I belong to 4 book clubs and I don't think I would recommend it - although the story is complex, the book is not challenging. It is a good book for a long airplane trip or a beach read.

...7 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Deborah Johnson

Deborah Johnson now lives and works in Columbus, Mississippi, after living for many years in Italy.

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