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Book Review

Book Reviews


By Kim Johnson
Random House Books
416 pages
July 28, 2020

‘This is My America’

Tracey Beaumont has 267 days to save her father’s life. He is an innocent black man on death row, and 17-year-old Tracey will not stop
until he is free, until suddenly her brother falls under suspicion for killing his white girlfriend. Now Tracey must try even harder to uncover
the truth not only to save her father’s life but her brother’s as well.

This is a devastating story of corruption, racism, family and what it means to be Black in America. An intricate, lyrical narrative that does more to define justice than any nonfiction book could, “This is My America” is compulsively readable, even when it hurts to keep going. The emotional toll of the story mirrors Tracey’s own journey.

Powerful, compelling and painfully real, Kim Johnson’s debut novel is a stunner that should be on everyone’s reading list this summer. ♦
— Reviewed by Julie Goodrich

By Natasha Trethewey
224 pages
July 28, 2020

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

‘Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir’

A Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by a two-time Poet Laureate naturally comes with some expectations of quality and skill. “Memorial Drive” more than meets those expectations; it exceeds them in spades.

Natasha Trethewey is an incredible wordsmith, and that skill shines in this heartbreaking, illuminating and wistful look at her mother’s life. A victim of domestic abuse, racism and, ultimately, a victim or murder, Natasha shines a light on the strength and power she witnessed in her mother and how the grief and experience of sudden loss shaped her life over the last 30 years.

Beautiful, haunting and startlingly relevant, this book is on the fast track to “classic” status. A powerful choice for book clubs, family
discussions or anyone dealing with loss. Don’t miss it. ♦
— Reviewed by Julie Goodrich

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