A stunning literary debut about coming back home again.
Twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Tommy Lee Tyson steps off the Greyhound bus in his hometown of Swamp Creek, Arkansasa place he left when he was eighteen, vowing never to return. Yet fate and a Ph.D. in black studies force him back to his rural origins as he seeks to understand himself and the black community that produced him.
A cold, nonchalant father and an emotionally indifferent mother make his return, after a ten-year hiatus, practically unbearable, and the discovery of his baby sister's death and her burial in the backyard almost consumes him. His mother watches his agony when he discovers his sister's tombstone, but neither she nor other family members is willing to disclose the secret of her death. Only after being prodded incessantly does his older brother, Willie James, relent and provide Tommy Lee with enough knowledge to figure out exactly what happened and why.
Meanwhile, Tommy's seventy-year-old teacherlying on her deathbedasks him to remain in Swamp Creek and assume her position as the headmaster of the one-room schoolhouse. He refuses vehemently and she dies having bequeathed him her five thousand–book collection in the hopes that he will change his mind. Over the course of a one-week visit, riddled with tension, heartache, and revelation, Tommy Lee Tyson discovers truths about his family, his community, and his undeniable connection to rural Southern black folk and their ways.
"A thrilling literary debut...Daniel Black wields a powerful pen, a sharp eye, and muscular prose in giving us a memorable, even haunting story of the ties that bind." Michael Eric Dyson
About the Author
Daniel Black is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, yet spent the majority of his childhood years in Blackwell, Arkansas. He was granted a full scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in English. He was awarded the Oxford Modern British Studies scholarship and studied abroad at Oxford University, Oxford, England. Upon graduation from Clark College (magma cum laude in 1988), he was granted a full graduate fellowship to Temple University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in African American Studies. Completing this phase of his academic career in 1993, with Sonia Sanchez as one of his dissertation advisers, Dr. Black returned to his alma mater in order to help establish the tradition of top-notch scholars who publish and remain at historically black institutions. As a tenured associate professor, he now aims to provide an example to young African Americans of the importance of self-knowledge and communal commitment.
Omotosho, as he prefers to be called, is the founder of the Nzinga-Ndugu rites of passage (or initiation) societya group whose focus is instilling principle and character in the lives of African-American youth. He is currently at work on his next novel.
Read an Excerpt
They Tell Me of a Home
By Daniel Black
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2005 Daniel Omotosho Black
All rights reserved.
"Excuse me, sir," I said apprehensively to the Greyhound bus driver. "Could you let me off at the big oak tree about a mile up the road on the right?"
He studied me through the rearview mirror and frowned, confused.
"See, if you let me off there" — diffidence colored my words — "I won't have so far to walk. My parents' house is just on the other side of those woods." I pointed out the big tinted windshield of the Greyhound bus toward a gathering of trees some distance away. Most would have thought the area uninhabitable, for there was no sign of a human dwelling anywhere in the midst of those trees. Yet the origin of my beginning lay nestled quietly among them.
"I see," he affirmed as he nodded. "I believe I can do that. You's a country boy sho"nuff, ain't chu?" He laughed heartily.
"I guess I am," I responded less enthusiastically.
"Boy, dat sun gon' bake you black as coal! It's got to be a hundred degrees or better today. I hope you brought a hat,'cause if you didn't, you liable to have a sunstroke 'fo' you get home."
"I forgot how hot Arkansas is in the summer," I said, more to myself than to the driver.
"Well, you'bout to be reminded."
I reclined in the seat, preparing myself mentally to walk the two miles I once had walked, years ago, with ease. "Lord have mercy," I mumbled as I grabbed my bags. One of them contained my clothes — three African dashikis and matching pants, two plain white T-shirts, two pair of shorts, some underwear, and some dress shoes — while the other carried books. Armah's Two Thousand Seasons had captured me only days earlier, so I couldn't leave it behind, and I had been reading Some Soul to Keep by J. California Cooper simply too long. A friend recommended Song of Solomon fervently, and after the first couple of pages I saw why. There were others I hadn't started, like The Outsider, but my mind was already cluttered with too many characters, so I decided to finish at least one book before I started another. Leaving things incomplete was a habit I couldn't get rid of, but I had a feeling coming home was going to force me to do so.
The bus pulled off of Highway 64 onto the dirt space in front of the big tree.
"Well, here you are, son," the driver said as he opened the door for me.
"Thank you so much, sir," I returned as I stepped off the bus Saturday afternoon. "I really appreciate this."
"Oh, it ain't no problem," he yelled down to me. "Hope you enjoy yo'self. Tell yo' folks hello fu' me."
"I sure will, sir. Thanks again."
The bus disappeared into the heat wave. I glanced at my watch and murmured, "Two sixteen," as the blistering sun welcomed my deracinated spirit home. It was hotter than any day I could remember. The whirlwind of dust, which the bus left behind, consumed me in a ball of humidity, making breathing practically impossible. It was the kind of heat that pastes clothes to skin during the day and disallows a cool breeze at night. A nice, cool shower would have been divine, but it never helped much in Swamp Creek since, after a moment or two, the sweat returned, even in the shade.
I dropped both bags and, with my hands, shielded my eyes from the scorching sun. Everything looked the same. The Meetin' Tree stood broader, like a great elder watching over a flock of children. We called the tree the Meetin' Tree because that's where folks gathered to socialize and gossip. Every Friday night, people came and listened to John Lee tell lies or watched Miss Liza Mae strip naked as the liquor took effect. As children, my friends and I caught lightning bugs in the field next to the tree as the grown folks told their stories. Sometimes we'd listen, too, but always from a distance. Children didn't sit with elders back in those days.
Uncle James Earl's old abandoned house, on the south side of the highway, was more weathered than it once had been. It leaned now like an old man without a walking cane. Sideboards were sinking inward, causing the house to emit an aura of depression. Rust had completely consumed the tin roof in the last ten years, and in a few places the roof had blown away. The house resembled a person in mourning over the loss of a child. The crumbling porch, barely hanging wooden screen door, and broken windows all reminded me that I hadn't been home in a very long time. Even the famous fruit trees, which once framed Uncle James Earl's house, appeared frail and desolate. It wasn't always this way. One day, when I was about twelve, my cousin Darrell and I sneaked behind Uncle James Earl's old house and prepared to steal some of those juicy peaches. Darrell whispered, "If we get caught, we gonna get a whoopin'!"
"Who gon' catch us?" I murmured intensely.
"Hell, I don't know! You know what they say'bout dis house." Darrell was starting to tremble.
"Man, be cool. We can get what we want and be outta here. Don't start trippin' now."
"I ain't the only one trippin'. You sound like you fixin' to start crying or something."
"No I ain't, nigga. I'm just tryin' to think while you acting like a li'l bitch!" I was scared as hell and Darrell knew it.
"What if the house really is haunted by Uncle James Earl's spirit?" Darrell asked more earnestly than I had ever heard him.
"You don't believe in all that shit, do you?"
He hesitated for a moment and then said, "I don't know. I might."
I didn't say anything more because talking about it was weakening my confidence. We were squatting in the high grass behind Uncle James Earl's house, and our knees were about to give way as we spent an eternity contemplating what we were so sure about an hour earlier.
"We gon' do it or we ain't?" I asked, trying to force the fear out of Darrell.
"Yeah, OK," he responded with a tone of great uncertainty.
"Well, let's go."
We jumped up and ran to the first peach tree we saw. Never had I tasted anything so delicious. We were about to load our sacks when someone hollered, "Git on'way from dat tree, boys! You knows better!" We looked around excitably but didn't see anyone. "Did you hear me, boys?" the voice said again. This time, when we looked around, we saw an old man walking toward us. He had a cane and wore a badly tattered straw hat. One strap of his overalls was unbuckled, and his hair was white as snow. "Run!" I yelled to Darrell, and he obeyed without complaint. We ran to Grandma's house and told her everything.
"Y'all ain't seen nobody," she chuckled.
"Yes, ma'am, we did," we protested. "We saw Uncle James Earl!"
"You boys ain't seen no James Earl! He been dead almost five years."
"I know, Grandma," I was screaming, "but I swear it was him!"
"Well, even if you did see him, you ain't got to holla 'bout it. He can't do too much harm to nobody. Dead folks ain't neva been no bother. It's the livin' you betta worry'bout." And that's all Grandma said about the matter. Darrell and I never spoke again about seeing Uncle James Earl.
I shook my head and laughed as I remembered how crazy Darrell and I used to be. We would get whoopin's every day for something one of us talked the other into doing. Those were precious days.
I turned northward and noticed the pond in Old Man Blue's field glistening like it did when I was a boy. We fished in that pond every chance we got. Grandma would get out her almanac and tell us whether the day was a good fishing day or not, and if it was, we would get our cane poles, dig up some worms, and pray for luck. Sometimes we caught catfish or bream or perch, but most times we simply watched the water.
"You ever seen a girl's thang?" Darrell asked one day while we were fishing.
"Yep," I said proudly without facing him.
"You a lie, boy!" Darrell screamed excitedly.
"No I ain't. I done seen a girl's thang before. For real."
"What does it look like?"
"It's kinda hard to describe."
"OK, OK. Damn." I wanted to sound as grown and unmoved as possible. "I guess it sorta resembles a little hairy bootee. It's right down in between a girl's legs and it's got a split in it. It's got hair all around it, and when she gets ready to have sex, it gets all moist and stuff."
"How you know?" Darrell asked with great inquisitiveness.
"Don't worry'bout how I know, nigga. Dat's my business!"
Darrell resumed watching his cork in the water as he nodded his head in the "Oh, I see" fashion. Actually, except for watching Grandma wash herself in the kitchen Saturday nights, I was completely naive about a woman's genitalia. Yet what I had seen was enough to make Darrell believe I knew more about girls than he did, and of course that was the point.
My memories made me feel as though home were an ancient place. I arrived back in Swamp Creek ten years after I thought I had seen it for the last time. The day after high school graduation, I left Arkansas, promising never to return. People bred hatred in me as a child concerning everything about Swamp Creek. Daddy worked me to death and said, "Dat's life round here, boy." So I had to leave. Hay fields, pea patches, cotton picking — I had had enough. I didn't ever acquire a nostalgic love for the place. What I did enjoy, though, was how people learned to sing their troubles away. Mother Berthine, Miss Iza Lou, and Old Man Blue could line a hymn on Sunday morning and even have sinners calling on the name of the Lord. They would moan and holler as they worked out the angst in their souls and then come the following Sunday and perform the ritual all over again. Miss Iza would cry when she sang, pleading for the Lord "not to move the mountain but to give her the strength to climb." I felt sorry for her because the relief she wanted never seemed to arrive. Yet for some reason she persisted in seeking. I anticipated seeing these old soldiers on Sunday if they were still living.
Ten years and there I was again. I had received a Ph.D. in black studies a month earlier and felt compelled to return to the place of my origin. Exactly why I didn't know, but for some reason I felt the need to go home. My heart, or my head, had begun to twist, to beg for familial clarity, in the last several years, and maybe, I hoped, Swamp Creek could help. Or maybe I dreamed of returning and finding a picturesque family into which I could safely place myself. Whatever the reason, I had a feeling as I stood in front of the old tree that home was going to be anything but sweet.
I walked over and sat underneath the Meetin' Tree. Even there, the air was muggy, but a little shade provided minimal comfort. Grateful to be released from the sun's torturous grip, I threw my head back and noticed that the tree's billions of leaves together took the shape of a beautiful dancer with arms stretched wide and legs perfectly straight beneath her limbs. I remembered years ago how the leaves moved in choreography at the wind's command. Darrell and I stood underneath the tree when it rained and watched the water fall all around us. We were fascinated that fragile leaves could totally block such heavy downpours. "The tree likes us," Darrell proclaimed. "It's kinda like a big umbrella." We would play chase or tag beneath the tree, grateful we could do so and stay perfectly dry in the midst of a storm.
However, the Meetin' Tree didn't do me much good the Saturday I arrived, for even in the shade, I was still dripping with sweat. The long bus ride from New York to Swamp Creek had only added to my frustration, and the growling of my stomach kept me reminded that, on top of heat exhaustion, I was starving. I heard a car race by, and when I turned my head to observe, the glare from the sun made me squint my eyes until they hurt. "Good God!" I said aloud, fishing through my bag for a notebook with which to fan myself. It did no good. Cool air had completely abandoned Swamp Creek. I was sure the sun was laughing at me for having hoped, somehow, that summer in Arkansas wouldn't be blazing hot.
I sat a long time on the old wooden church pew beneath the tree because I needed to assess what my return to Swamp Creek might mean. My sudden reappearance would surely cause some kind of disturbance, although such was not my intention. I had hoped a tenyear hiatus would provide my family and me with sufficient distance for old wounds to heal. Deep within I knew better. Time doesn't heal old scars; it just makes them bearable.
More than anything, I dreaded the encounter with my father. We had never been close — a vulnerability Southern black men rejected — but I had a feeling my unexcused absence might ignite in him unimaginable rage. Fear was what I felt whenever he was around, and somehow he exacerbated my inadequacies without ever saying a word. "I'm a grown man," I reminded myself aloud, but Daddy certainly wouldn't agree. His children would be children forever, at least in his eyes, and his job to feed and clothe us was the only obligation he had embraced. The day my oldest brother, Willie James, ran away from home, Daddy was clearly unmoved. Momma told him, "Somebody need to go find dat boy, Cleatis." Daddy continued eating casually and returned, "Then you go." I was stunned. The third night, Willie James returned battered and worn. "We got to plow dat field tomorrow, boy," Daddy announced as though Willie James never left, "so you betta take yo'ass to bed'steada sittin' up watchin' dat damn TV."
Daddy's work came before anything else. Always. He believed, at the expense of everything, a man ought to work by the sweat of his brow, and Daddy upheld this conviction. He was obsessed with physical labor, afraid that one moment of rest would automatically prove him lazy, and Daddy would never allow anyone the opportunity to call him lazy. This was a principle he lived by and one he made all the rest of us live by, too.
"That boy has got to go to school," Momma said one evening at the dinner table.
"He ain't got to do nothin' but what I tell him," Daddy responded, clearly talking to both Momma and me. "First thang he got to learn is how to work. All dat readin' ain't gon' put no food in his mouth. How a man s'pose' to make a livin', sittin' round on his ass wit' a book in his hands?"
"We ain't living in dem old times no mo', Cleatis," Momma said sternly. "He can't go to school off and on like you makin' him do. He miss too much lesson and be behind and can't catch up. He goin' to school. You may as well get that through yo' thick skull!"
Momma continued eating, confident she had won the battle. Daddy chewed slowly as though planning his retaliation. No one asked me anything.
In public, Momma acted as though my love for reading brought her great joy. Her hope, she proclaimed, was that one day "one of my children make somethin' out of theyselves." I would read anything I could get my hands on. Newspapers, cereal boxes, TV guides, obituaries, and almanacs composed my makeshift library. Momma contradicted herself, though, because she never bought books for me. She wanted a smart child in order to elicit praise in the community. She really didn't enjoy my intelligence, I presumed, for she reminded me constantly of my unwelcomed analysis. "You think you know so damn much," she sneered any time I offered my opinion. Grandma told me not to worry about her. "You jes keep on keepin' on, baby," she said. Usually, the only time I got books was when Grandma brought them home from the white lady's house in which she worked.
Grandma surprised me on my fourteenth birthday. She called me over to her house and said lovingly, "Here, boy," and handed me a battered copy of The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. "Grandma! Oh my God! A book by Dunhar! How did you know? I've always liked Dunbar! Thank you!" I danced around her small living room with a treasure I had never dreamed of possessing. In school, we had read only one Dunbar poem, "We Wear the Mask," but it was enough to convince me of his exceptional literary talent. Grandma smiled as I hugged her, and said, "I wanted you to have yo' own copy so I asked Miss Ruth if I could have this book for my grand-baby. She said OK. I saw how you was lovin' dat other poetry book I brought home, so I thought I'd find a way to git chu one by a black man. Don't let dat book git you in trouble wit' yo' daddy." I knew what she meant. "No, ma'am, I won't," I said and ran out to the barn to read. I was supposed to be feeding the cows but decided I could read awhile before they starved to death. I nestled between two bales of hay and arbitrarily opened the book to a poem called "The Lesson":
My cot was down by a cypress grove,
And I sat by my window the whole night Long,
And heard well up from the deep dark wood
A mocking-bird's passionate song.
And I thought of myself so sad and lone,
And my life's cold winter that knew no spring;
Of my mind so weary and sick and wild,
Of my heart too sad to sing.
Excerpted from They Tell Me of a Home by Daniel Black. Copyright © 2005 Daniel Omotosho Black. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
Twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Tommy Lee Tyson steps off the Greyhound bus in his hometown of Swamp Creek, Arkansasa place he left when he was eighteen, vowing never to return. Yet fate and a Ph.D. in black studies force him back to his rural origins as he seeks to understand himself and the black community that produced him. A cold, nonchalant father and an emotionally indifferent mother make his return, after a ten-year hiatus, practically unbearable, and the discovery of his baby sister's death and her burial in the backyard almost consumes him. His mother watches his agony when he discovers his sister's tombstone, but neither she nor other family members is willing to disclose the secret of her death. Only after being prodded incessantly does his older brother, Willie James, relent and provide Tommy Lee with enough knowledge to figure out exactly what happened and why. Meanwhile, Tommy's seventy-year-old teacherlying on her deathbedasks him to remain in Swamp Creek and assume her position as the headmaster of the one-room schoolhouse. He refuses vehemently and she dies having bequeathed him her five thousand–book collection in the hopes that he will change his mind. Over the course of a one-week visit, riddled with tension, heartache, and revelation, Tommy Lee Tyson discovers truths about his family, his community, and his undeniable connection to rural Southern black folk and their ways.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! ALL OF GOD'S CHILDREN BETTER ADD THIS NOVEL TO THEIR COLLECTION, 'CAUSE ZORA NEAL HURSTON, JAMES BALDWIN, LANGSTON HUGHES, TONI MORRISON'S BELOVED, ETC. HAVE COME BACK FROM THE GRAVE IN ONE BODY. 'THEY TELL ME OF A HOME' BY DANIEL OMOTOSHO BLACK IS NOT JUST AN AWESOME AFROREAL PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON WHO RETURNS TO SWAMP CREEK TO FACE THE PAIN THAT CLOSURE BRINGS ANYONE SEEKING TO DO SO, BUT ALSO THE COLLECTIVE WORK IS A LIBATION -- AN OUTPOUR OF THE COLLECTIVE SELF -- A CUP SPILLING OVER WITH WINE-- OF TRUTHS THAT ARE NOT SO FARFETCHED ABOUT WHO WE ARE AS HUMAN BEINGS. THIS NOVEL IS SO DAMN GOOD THAT I GOT CAUGHT UP FOR 12... YES, 12 HOURS... READING FROM BEGINNING TILL END. MY BOTTOM STARTED HURTIN', SO I WALKED AROUND THE HOUSE READING THE BOOK IN HAND. EVERYTIME I TRIED TO STOP, THE SPIRIT OF THE WRITING TOOK MY MIND AND BODY OVER LIKE THE HOLY GHOST FALLS ON ME AT CHURCH (AT HOME REALLY 'CAUSE I'M TOO TIRED BY THE TIME I GET TO CHURCH). I CRIED FROM LAUGHING OUTLOUD. I LAUGHED SOME MORE. I CRIED REAL TEARS. I FELT LOVED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME. HALLELUJAH!!! FOR THE HEALING POWER THAT THIS NOVEL HAS BROUGHT INTO MY LIFE. THE LIFETIME CHANNEL, OPRAH WINFREY, HBO OR SOMEBODY WHO IS SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GET A HOLD OF THIS NOVEL, SO THAT THE REVOLUTION -- CHANGE, THAT IS -- CAN BE TELEVISED.
A story that is based on fact tells me that we still have 'miles to go' in our cultures. Education in our small rural areas is badly needed so more young people are encouraged to succeed. I so enjoyed it I am now well into the sequel "Twelve Gates to the City".
WOW, what a read! I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr Black at the local Augusta library recently. The book really rates as a favorite in my library. So much of the book speaks to people and places in my early childhood. I will revisit it again and again. I highly recommend this book for book club discussion.
They Tell Me Of A Home was OUTSTANDING!! The book entails history,humor,and culture all into one, u surely will learn a thing or two from reading this great novel. This was the most excellent southern culture read I have read in a long time, it takes u thru all of your emotions all the way until the end that will have u laughing, crying and clapping and wanting more. Dr. Black deserves every 5 stars there is to give and more, kudos to you! keep them coming and congratulations on a job well done.
They tell me of a home is excellent reading. It tells reveals the history of what makes us who we are. It challenges us to face those things we fear to face and to begin tearing down the obstacles which limit our spiritual growth. I LOVED, LAUGHED, CRIED, DIED and was reborn in this well written novel. The novel had a bit too much profanity for me, otherwise, keep writing. I am waiting to see the next book.
From the moment I opened my package and unwrapped this book, I could not put it down. Tommy Lee Tyson's story is one that was in one moment hilarious and another so incredibly sad that I almost began to cry. It has been a while since I have read a book so captivatng with a story and characters so vivid that I could feel them and see them as I read along. They Tell Me of a Home is a beautifully written novel within which a myriad of critical topics important to the evolution and ultimate freedom of black people are addressed, tied together in seamless transition. I whole heartedly recommend this book. It is simply amazing!
'Perfect Peace' was the first of Daniel Black's books that I read which I thought was awesome. I was glad to see that he had written several other books and chose 'They Tell Me Of A Home' as my next read. Sorry to say that I was disappointed and was wishing that the family would tell TL something so he would quit whining! I will read the sequel only to see what Sister has to say.
I expected more from this book after reading Perfect Peace. This book was all over the place. Instead of sticking to the plot and telling a story, it consisted of the main character crying the whole time while preaching and being demanding of others. It read more like a philosophical self help novel than a work of fiction.
The plot had me curious from the beginning. I was eager to find out the answers to the main character's answers. However, there seemed to be a second, somewhat unrelated, plot: the main character's close relationship with a friend. The story took a strange turn in the middle and focused primarily on this relationship. Then it picked back up on the main storyline. Overall not a bad read.
In order to believe the plot in the book, you have to believe that there is a town with no law enfcement, no telephones, no emergency sevices or law enforcement in the late 80's through early 2000's. There were several chapters about fluff that have little or no relation to the story. It was just not a good book. Sorry, that I trusted other reviews.
Great story. I could not put it down.
Excellent book with many layers that causes one to think not only about societal norms and values but also one's own culture and beliefs. I look forward to the sequel and Dr. Black's visit to my book club!
wonderful, compelling story. a must read!
Ecellent read! Suspenesful to the end. Also sad but enduring.
You will not be able to put this book down! Adored PERFECT! Ravished A PLACE CALLED HOME!!! Devoured 12 GATES!!!!! COMMENDABLE WORK DR. BLACK!
Theme not original nor the story gripping enough. However the story is well written
The author does a good job weaving a complicated story that keeps you guessing and your jaw dropping as the story unfolds. Good read.
a excellent writer you see it as you read truly waiting on anything he writes i will read i also loved perfect peace
This novel was so good. I really enjoyed the complexities of it. I hope there is a sequel and I will read that. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read, is bored, wants something to do anything! It works well if you're male, female, boy, girl, old, or young it's applicable and good. I really enjoy it and the author's mastery of storytelling and characters. It made me feel like I was in the heat of Arkansas and feeling the characters' pain. READ IT!
Daniel Black has painted a picture with words on paper, and delivered a story that all of America should read. Black has created a story of discovery. Readers will see and feel the characters' pains and triumphs. I await more from this new voice in American Literature no World Literature.
I'm speechless! I received this book as a gift from Chinasa and started reading it Tuesday night. I've lost sleep trying to stay up reading chapter after chapter. I kept saying, 'One more chapter and I'm going to sleep!' I couldn't even put it down at work! (During lunch and recess of course.) I felt such a strong connection to the main character not completely because of his experiences but because of his thoughts and inner struggles. It gave me a new perspective on parenting, communication, family, legacy, education, forgiveness, and self worth, just to name a few. I was somewhat...no very disappointed that the book had to end. It took me a second to realize that it was over and my time with the characters had come to an end. GREAT JOB! It will definitely be a book club choice.
Dr. Daniel Black proves to be an awesome and gifted writer with his first novel. This story actually makes you feel as if you were there. I applaud and highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a pleasure to say that I personally know the writer as well. This is a must have for your library!!!
This is the story of T.L. Tyson, a black man who returns to his home in rural Arkansas after a ten-year absence. While he was away, he earned a PhD in Black Studies, and escaped from a family that appeared dysfunctional and unloving.On his return, he learns many family secrets and develops a deeper appreciation for his heritage and his family.I didn't enjoy this book because the interations between the characters were largely unrealistic. The author uses dialogue several times to express his views and analysis of gender relationships, black psychology, and the importance of education. At times the book reads more like an essay than a novel. The character development was uninspired and rather simplistic. This is an author with potential, but still a lot of growing to do.
This book was a quick read and it moved my sprit. You are able to connect with the main character right away and follow his emotional journey to doscover his family secerts and being able to find peace.