|10-26-2014, 03:24 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Device: Kindle 2 International & Sony PRS-T1 & BlackBerry PlayBook
Free (nook/Kindle/Kobo) October Suite [African-American Historical Literary Novel]
October Suite by Maxine Clair is a 1950s-set African-American historical literary fiction novel exploring the period's social conditions and restrictions surrounding a young schoolteacher who finds herself trying to cope with an increasingly difficult life situation, free courtesy of publisher Agate's Digital imprint.
This has favourable editorial reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the School Library Journal, the latter of which classes it as an adult-level novel suitable for reading by high schoolers.
Currently free @ B&N & Kobo (not available to Canadians) and slated to drop at Amazon after midnight Pacific Time (actually, probably on Monday which is when Agate's weekly scheduled freebies tend to show up there). Will probably show up in DRM-free PDF available worldwide directly @ the publisher's webstore in a couple of days' time as their scheduled freebies often do (but not always, they seem to have skipped last week after having been fairly consistent for the month before).
It is 1950 and October Brown is a twenty-three-year-old first-year teacher thanking her lucky stars that she found a room in the best boardinghouse for Negro women teachers in Wyandotte County, Kansas. October falls in love with an unhappily married handyman, James Wilson, but when she becomes pregnant, James deserts her. Stunned, and believing that James will eventually come back to her, October decides to have the baby. But he doesn’t come back. As her reputation suffers, and with her job in jeopardy, she spends her days in self-deception and denial. Her best friend, Cora, contacts October’s family: her older sister, Vergie, and her aunts Frances and Maude, who raised the sisters after their mother was killed by their father.
October goes back to her family in Ohio and gives birth to her son. Numb, she gives the child–David–to Vergie and her husband to raise as their own, then returns to Kansas City to rebuild her life. But something is missing–and, apparently too late, October realizes what she has done.
What follows is the heartrending account of October’s efforts to reclaim her dignity, her profession, and her son, efforts that lead her into a bitter struggle with her sister and a confrontation with her parents’ violent past. The Midwest, the flourishing of modern jazz, and the culture of segregation form a compelling historical backdrop for this timeless and universal tale of one person’s battle to understand and master her own desires, and to embrace the responsibilities and promise of mature adulthood. October Suite plays a beautiful, haunting melody, turning everyday life into exceptional art.
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