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Date Published: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Chamomile Books LLC
Micah Winters always knew that she was different. It was the pigment of her skin and the texture of her hair that revealed that she was a woman from biracial parents. For five decades, Micah’s African American mother has remained silent about Micah’s estranged father (Sidney Irving). It is not until after Sidney Irving’s death that Micah learns that she is the daughter of the legendary novelist and screenwriter. Now with her mother’s memory fading away from Alzheimer’s disease, Micah can only rely on a novel that was written from her father years ago to understand her parents past during the time of segregation in the United States. Micah’s once simple life is not so simple anymore as she tries to make sense of an unfamiliar world as she inherits her father’s wealth and private past. With an abandoned heart, Micah must forgive the past in order to discover who she really is.
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About the Author:
Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in the sunshine state of Florida with her miniature schnauzer named Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.
|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|Strong beginning, easy to get into||Ignores facts for the sake of plot and drama. One consideration I clued into immediately would’ve changed the whole book.|
|Liked Micah||Problematic handling of an abusive relationship|
|Liked the passages from “Daisies for Lisa”.||Ending was too quick & neat. Felt rushed. I wish she made a different decision that would have had consequences and considerations|
|Liked Micah working on the mystery of her parents and her evolving feelings|
In Black & White quickly hooked me with Irving’s last moments and Micah’s bakery. I enjoyed most of the story, particularly unraveling Loretta and Irving’s romance and Micah’s character progression.
There’s only a few mention of colorism throughout and it revolves around the black community’s negative responses to Micah. I’m a bit disappointed that the other areas aren’t acknowledged or explored as well.
As I became more invested in Micah’s mysteries it became frustratingly obvious the plot was being forced and fabricated instead of naturally flowing. There’s one factor that I wondered about right off the bat that doesn’t get mentioned until the very end to save the day and provide a sentimental happily ever after.
Not only that, but on page 83/84 Micah is given a letter. This is a very important letter that will help in her quest she’s so focused on. Yet she doesn’t even think about it for another 50 pages and then hems and haws about opening a dead person’s mail she just inherited. Really?!?
In Black & White would have been different if these factors were used correctly instead of reminding me it’s a written story and pulling me out of the book.
Despite my later issues with Micah (more on that in a bit) and the plot, I was still intrigued and it was easy to keep reading. Too bad the ending isn’t surprising and Irving’s treasure was a ‘duh’.
While Micah’s closing remarks were touching and I loved her personal journey, I can’t help but wish she made a different choice. Again, if all the facts were used in the beginning she’d have more time and so would the ending, allowing more time for a deeper, internal narrative.
Because it is enjoyable, easy to read, Micah is a great MC, and the main mystery of her parent's romance is a winner.
Recommendations: If you’re a fan historical romance and contemporary drama. Being able to let the plot slide a bit is a plus. But a Trigger Warning is in effect in regards to a past abusive relationship.
TW: Abusive Relationship & It’s Excused, Not Called Out
So, Micah's mother has an ex-boyfriend named Roy tangled up in the story of Irving. Roy was abusive. ABUSIVE. He hurt her physically, controlled her movements, belittled her, isolated her, and made murderous threats.
Roy excuses his behavior, says it was because he learned it from his father, had anger problems, and loved Lisa so damn much he was terrified of losing her.
This is an accurate pile of bullshit from an abuser. I’ve heard this justification from my abusive ex-boyfriend. Micah swallows it hook, line, and sinker.
It’s never called abuse, it’s “they fought a lot”. No, don’t do this. Don’t make the victim complicit while trying to survive HIS actions.
Pg. 145-146 “her mother had indeed been a lucky woman because three men had loved her with passion.”
Including Roy in as the first man is BULLSHIT. No victim is “lucky” to have someone “them love so”. Micah admits it was possessive and destructive but not abuse. Why tap dance around this? Why is the abuse romanticised, and her mother, the victim, the survivor, being neglected? Why is Roy pitied and made sympathetic for his abuse?
Why not even acknowledge the damage done to Loretta by him? Loretta refused his roses, she never forgave him, and never wanted anything to do with him again. But her daughter is this bastion of understanding and forgiveness for him?
As a survivor, this whole subplot is disgusting, frustrating, and propagates harmful bullshit.