This year I’ve challenged myself to read fifty books. This is no easy task for a slow reader, especially since so many other things distract me. Through this blog, I’ll share the books I’m reading and keep myself on track. Please feel free to offer suggestions of books you’ve enjoyed!

                                             Book Number: 18

                  Loving Day


                  Mat Johnson


Warren Duffy, a biracial (Irish/African American) man, is light skinned but identifies as a black man. After returning to the dilapidated mansion inherited from his father, he meets his seventeen-year-old daughter, a girl conceived in his youth. Her mother, a Jewish woman, is deceased. Tal leaves her grandfather and moves in with Warren.

He wants to do the right thing as a father and also wants her to learn about her ethnicity. They become involved in a school whose goal is to teach its students to embrace their mixed-race identities. As Tal becomes more and more influenced by the school, Warren becomes more doubtful. He plots to take her away, the campus moves to his property and he must figure out how to gain his daughter’s trust and resolve his own personal problems.

This novel is populated with quirky characters (including vague ones–are they ghosts? are they trespassing crackheads? are they real?) who employ unique means of getting what they want.

Johnson’s writing is entertaining, intelligent, and often humorous. Although the plot sometimes strays beyond what is realistic, Johnson makes excellent points about racism, ethnic identity, parenthood, and self-discovery.

Except for some repetitiveness, I enjoyed this book.

*Loving Day is celebrated on June 12 to commemorate the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia which struck down all laws banning interracial marriage.



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