Publisher Koehler Books, 2019
Evan Walls has been married to his wife Izzy for thirteen years, yet she knows nothing about half of his life. That part of him he put away long ago and they have lived peacefully alongside the dead spot it has left in their love. However, the birth of their first child changes everything. Evan, fearful of a reincarnation of his childhood in the life of his new daughter, finally finds the courage to tell his wife. Desperate, he hopes that she can help him protect their child.
It is June 1968. The Civil Rights movement is winding down after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Negroes in the town of Canaan, Virginia have been used to acting the same, thinking the same and sharing in the unadulterated hatred of a common enemy. Evan is ten years old and, in the jargon of the times, young, gifted and black. In the presence of his parents and a summer porch gathering of their friends, he makes a startling declaration. From that moment on, the central question of his life is born. Is he black enough?
Evan has a dream that will turn the sleepy town of Canaan upside down, forcing him to walk the slippery and angry slope between blacks and whites. In time, his dream disintegrates a family, a marriage, countless friendships and a dramatic first love. Only his great-grandmother, Mama Jennie and mentor, Bojack, help him fight to keep his dream alive. And only Izzy can help him come to grips with what he learns from telling his traumatic life story.