Rebel Yell: Book summary and reviews of Rebel Yell by Alice Randall

Rebel Yell

by Alice Randall

Rebel Yell by Alice Randall X
Rebel Yell by Alice Randall
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Abel Jones Jr., a civil rights lawyer’s son turned black Washington neo-con, has met an unlikely end: collapsing at the Rebel Yell dinner theater, surrounded by actors in Confederate regalia, with his white second wife at his side. Hope Jones Blackshear, Abel’s first wife and mother of his only son, is left confounded by the turn his life took in his later years.

Sharing a drink after the funeral with Abel’s old friend Nicholas Gordon, Hope lets herself reminisce about first meeting Abel at Harvard, and their early married days as a foreign service couple in Manila and Martinique. But her own version of history is altered by that of Nicholas, a dandified Brit who seems to know more than he lets on. To fully understand the story of Abel Jones, for her own sake and that of their teenage son, Hope journeys from Nashville to Rome, seeking the connection between the Abel she loved, a child of Southern terror in the sixties, and the Abel who became a White House watchdog of global terror, driven to measures Hope could never have imagined.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Randall leaves much to the imagination, but in the end, she successfully creates a family that's been torn apart and haphazardly put back together by forces sometimes terrifying, sometimes hopeful." - Publishers Weekly

"Randall demonstrates, with delicious imagery and a sense of racial irony, a love for history's forgotten and overlooked." – Booklist

"Though not as poetic, this work is reminiscent of the powerful intricacies of Toni Morrison's Love as it weaves the past with the present. Randall's latest tale is nostalgic, heart-wrenching, and captivating." - Library Journal

[P]ointless details, indulged in again and again, distract from the central, essential mystery ... An intriguing premise poorly executed." - Kirkus Reviews

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Alice Randall was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Harvard College. She is the author of The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, and her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Elle, and O, the Oprah Magazine.  Also an accomplished songwriter, Randall is the only African-American woman ever to write a number-one country song. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University.

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