Blurb: When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
This is one of those books that leaves me torn on how to rate it. On a general, quality level, I think that this was a well written book with a lot of great insight into racial issues. That aspect wants me to rate this higher.
Sadly, there were a few other issues that I just wasn’t much of a fan of. Since this is told from the perspective of 3 different characters, the reader’s attention is split pretty hard and that made it difficult to connect with any of them enough for me to like them. What I did get from all three wasn’t all that appealing as individuals, making them fall into the dislike side of things for me.
One of my other issues, and I realize this is on me more and my personal tastes than anything, is that this book gets a bit religiously preachy in places. Since this is one I checked out of the library, I didn’t think to look at the sub-genres it was classified under on Amazon. It wasn’t noted as Christian fiction through my library, but did have that tag in Amazon. If I’d seen that up front, I probably wouldn’t have read it because I do not enjoy being preached to.
The last issue I had was how the story gets wrapped up in the end. You have all this pretty great stuff going on with regards to race and segregation in schools and then you have this kind of crazy, over dramatic and not really connected ending that just doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the story at all. No, it wasn’t really predictable, which could be viewed as good, but it also just didn’t seem to work for me because it didn’t feel like it meshed with everything that happened up to that point.
I think the things I wasn’t much of a fan of overpowered the parts I liked so this ends up being only an okay read for me.