- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins B and Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (10 December 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1094024767
- ISBN-13: 978-1094024769
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3 x 14.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 240 g
- Customer Reviews: Be the first to review this item
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Africaville: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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"An exploration of how time and migration can change a family and impact its experience of race."--"Kirkus Reviews"
About the Author
A graduate of the US Naval Academy, JEFFREY COLVIN served in the US Marines. He worked as an advertising analyst, a congressional aide and a non-profit manager before attending Columbia University, where he received an MFA. An excerpt of his novel-in-progress appeared in Narrative Magazine, and other fiction has been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Prick of the Spindle, Word Riot and Painted Bride Quarterly. His essays and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, the Rain Taxi Review of Books, The Millions and The Brooklyn Rail. He has received grants and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Colgate University, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Norman Mailer Center and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and a Paul Cuffee Scholarship from the Cuttyhunk Island Writers' Residency.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I could not connect to any of these characters. They all felt like I was watching them through a glass window. The first point of view we get is from Kath Ella. It seems like the author struggled to write this female character. Her thoughts and actions just didn’t seem believable. I noticed this trend throughout the book. These characters are shown to us one way but then he has them do things that are just like wait what? There were at least five characters in this book that took up a bit of space, yet there really seemed to be no point to them in the end.
I think Colvin also struggled with how to get to the next generation and it showed. It didn’t flow and you could always tell when we were done with one character and moving to the next generation. The pacing was also a bit clunky.
Every sex scene was just...awkward and made me feel uncomfortable. It was like I was watching the kind of sexual acts I would have to delete out of my search engine! I also found the book to be much longer than it needed to be.
Life as a child living in a mixed-race family can be a struggle as we learn from Etienne. Africaville delves into the question of being confident enough in yourself that you can deal with other people's hang-ups back in the '50s through the '60s about interracial marriage. Even now, not everyone can be civil when it comes to race and intermarriage and this book gets communication and introspection going. The dilemma to try and be who you want to be, but still, be proud of your heritage can be very hard when you decide you just want to fit in. It would be very hard to decide, especially in the eras setting where you would fit in when you are constantly teased about being white-skinned while living in a black community or being black while living in a white community. I can't fathom it.
Jeffrey Colvin does a great job of not being preachy when it comes to "crowing" and he doesn't force anything on the reader when it comes to decisions that are made in the story and the hardships that each character encounters. Each struggle is handled as if it is like any other day and that just broke my heart. No one should have to deal with brutality or race-baiting. This story is tragic, and yet provides hope when it is needed. The strength of the women in this book is awe-inspiring. I didn't want the story to end.
I appreciate being able to read this book. Thank you Netgalley, Harper Collins Publishing and Jeffrey Colvin for the opportunity. This is my honest review.
My reading journey with this book started slowly. It was a little difficult for me to get into at first; however, I did find the storylines of Kath Ella, her son Omar/Etienne, and her grandson Warner to be engaging. I think the author did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the various time periods presented in the novel. I also appreciated his ability to vividly describe scenes without overwhelming the reader with dialogue.
The most challenging aspect of the book for me was the abrupt changes in perspective and flashbacks in time. Sometimes it took me a couple of paragraphs to re-orient myself then I'd have to go back and reread passages to get a fuller understanding. I forged ahead because of my commitment to provide a thorough review. However, if this book was one that I had picked up for leisure reading, I probably would have given up on it, which would have been a shame because the overall story was compelling. I wonder how different the novel might have been if it was divided and each generation of Sebolts/Platts had his or her own novel.
Recommendation: This is a valiant debut novel, and I think the author has a promising future in creative writing. I'd recommend this read when you have time to really delve into it.
Until next time ... Read on!
Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or am gifted one, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.