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Family Lines Hardcover – October 31, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Family, friendship, and intuition prevail in this tale of alliances in seemingly unlikely places, corporate conspiracies, and ancestry. Rosamund Jones-Keyes finds herself in Atlanta, Georgia, with her daughter, Caryl, working at a chemical corporation. In an attempt to make a better life for her daughter, she asks her Aunt Pet to live with her for a while. Rosamund begins working with Jeffrey Shuggs, who believes that the company is involved in a conspiracy that could potentially jeopardize the lives of many people if left unacknowledged. He asks Rosamund to help him uncover the truth behind this alleged conspiracy, and as they investigate the issue further, someone tries to keep them from getting too close to the truth.

Meanwhile, Rosamund's daughter befriends a young boy at school named Darren. Caryl has dreams about her family's ancestors that seem to be bringing forth a message. Soon the two discover that their lives are much more connected than either of them had ever imagined.

This story shows that family ties can run surprisingly deep, linking the most unlikely people together. Rosamund, Caryl, Aunt Pet, Jeffrey, and Darren find themselves bound together by the alleged conspiracy and by family history.
Gwendoline Y. Fortune was born in Houston, Texas. Her family is derived from many different roots, including Native Americans, Scots-Irishmen, a Confederate, a free-born black great-grandfather, and a cowboy. These diverse backgounds enabled her to have a clearer awareness of racial issues around her, as well as an inherent acceptance of other races and cultures. She began her professional writing career in 1981, and since then, she has won several awards and grants. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she offers human growth counseling for individuals, couples, and groups in her home.

Praise for Gwendoline Fortune's first novel, Growing Up Nigger Rich:

"An admirable and gifted writer, Gwendoline Y. Fortune here proves herself worthy of our best, most serious attention."
--George Garrett, professor of English, University of Virginia

"Gwen Fortune has skillfully woven the complex threads of race, class and geography into her portrait of a woman whose life has been shaped by their combined textures."
--Abner J. Mikva, professor of Law, University of Chicago

"Growing Up Nigger Rich nourishes the mind and heart with its penetrating portrayal of the social and physical landscapes of a small southern town and of a courageous personal search for self and family."
--Roberta Ann Dunbar, Department of African and Afro-American Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

From the Back Cover

In an intriguing combination of conspiracy, family ties, and friendship, this novel explores one woman's search for the truth behind not only a possible company scam, but also her ancestry. Rosamund Jones-Keyes is a single mother living in Atlanta, Georgia, with her nine-year-old daughter, Caryl. While striving to maintain her status in the corporate arena, where it is a constant struggle to be taken seriously, she finds herself working alongside Jeffrey Shuggs.

Together, Rosamund and Jeffrey investigate an alleged company conspiracy. Lois, Rosamund's secretary, decides to help in the investigation by introducing them to her husband, who may have information that could help solve the mystery. As the inquiry continues, someone seems to be aware of their efforts and attempts to keep Rosamund and Jeffrey from getting too close.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing; First Edition edition (October 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589801466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589801462
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,601,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Fortune crafts a novel of corporate corruption and weaves in the value of honoring your ancestry. Rosamund Jones-Keyes (Mrs. JK) is a single mom climbing the corporate ladder in the biggest communication company in America, Dectel Global. She has been in the position for a short while and is proving she is an asset to the company.   Jeffrey Shuggs is the statistician assigned to Mrs. JK and is a "mountain man" at heart. Shuggs' dedication to the environment threatens to end both of their careers.

Mrs. JK and Shuggs secretly set out to prove an increase of industrial waste will have detrimental effects. As the investigation unfolds, unlikely friends appear. Lois, Mrs. JK's secretary, introduces her husband, Liam, who sheds light on Dectel Global's shady dealings. Darren, Jeffrey's son, adds charm and humor to this tale as he befriends Caryl, Mrs. J.K.'s daughter. The spiritual inclusion of past ancestors (Munje and Frank) is a unique aspect of the storyline and brings history together. All the characters work together to uncover exactly what Dectel Global is hiding.

The connection between characters reminds me of the idea of six degrees of separation. The in-depth knowledge of family heritage is strewn throughout with flashbacks of times past. The weave of family stories adds warmth and magic to the suspense of uncovering the truth about Dectel Global. Fortune designs a story, which interlocks the love of family, trust of friends, and respect for diversity that crosses every racial boundary. Family Lines will leave you asking if anyone at the office is in your family tree?

Reviewed by M. Bruner for Loose Leaves Book Review
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Format: Hardcover
I had this book sitting on my shelf over a year and finally I sat down to read it, and it is GOOD!! real good; It's one of those novels with a down home flavor and you feel good about reading; You have this lady Rosamund Jones Keyes who gets a cushy job at an Atlanta corporation; While there, she stumbles onto a coverup that comes to her attention by Jeffery Shuggs, who works for her, but also may have a deeper tie to her than she can imagine; Unbeknownst to them, their kids meet as well, and due to the fact that Rosamund's daughter Caryl doesn't like the after care that she goes to, Rosamund gets her aunt Patricia(Pet)to come and be there for Caryl instead of going to the after care in the evening; Now here is where things get real interesting; you might can say that Aunt Pet is the glue that brings it all together here; But you got to sit down and check out the book for yourself; Very good, interesting and keeps you in till the end;
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Format: Hardcover
On its surface a novel about corporate corruption, 'Family Lines' has at its heart the deeper message that, if you are a Southerner and black, you'd better love the white guy sitting next to you because chances are you have the same blood running in your veins, and ditto vice versa. If we are to love our families, we had better love each other, black or white. That, not division, is the true heritage of slavery.
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