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4.5 out of 5 stars8
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2009
Even in this day and age, interracial marriage seems to be one of the last taboos of our society, and it's one which most writers don't care (or dare) to tackle. But Geri Krotow has taken this subject into her capable hands and lovingly created a story that is both true to life and deeply moving. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who yearns for a graceful, realistic tale of a thoroughly modern romance. You won't be disappointed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon February 14, 2009
In Buffalo, New York, Will and Debra Bradley have been married for thirty-five years. However, their interracial marriage has had some conflict lately over their role in the lives of their adult children. Will believes Debra is too involved while she feels he is too removed as their offspring need them because it is not easy being mixed race.

Debra looks back to when they first started to fall in love and what they went through even in Upstate New York. She also helps her daughter Angie cope with an unexpected pregnancy at a time when her child is separated from her spouse and takes care of Will's elderly mother without complaint. Will her husband finally understand his wife does what she does because she loves her extended family and is not motivated by guilt.

This timely family drama is at its best when it focuses on the problems of interracial couples and their children; when the tale flashes back to the early days of the relationship between Will and Debra it loses some of the momentum though it does provide insight into race in America in the 1970s. The characters and their problems seem real as Geri Krotow provides a timely thoughtful contemporary as the offspring of a mixed couple enters the White House.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2010
Wonderful story an what a story. This one will be re-read again an again. The story was great loved the back and forth retelling of the romance an loved the fact that the children were included. Just great.
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on January 2, 2011
Author Geri Krotow has done it again. She's pulled me away from my own work and worries and created a story that speaks to me as a wife and mother. And as an artist. From page one I was drawn into this tale of Debra and Will Bradley, an interracial couple, who've weathered many storms -- both emotional and climatic -- in their thirty-five years of marriage. But Deb, who is white, and Will, who is black, have never let their differences in skin color define who they are as a couple or as parents to their three grown children.

But that doesn't mean things have always been easy. Debra, a successful fiber artist, and Will, a high profile architect in Buffalo, NY, have known each other most of their lives. The son of a hardworking doctor, Will grew up in an affluent home with a doting mother who only wanted the best for her oldest son. The fact that Will was in love with a white girl from the wrong side of Buffalo did not sit well with Will's mother, Violet, an elitist in her own right. Debra's own mother, who worked for Will's father for many years, didn't approve of their relationship either.

The story shifts back and forth in time, taking the reader from present day to many dates in the past. I loved this aspect of the novel, and the author handled the time shifts so well. So many times in the reading of this tale, I had to stop, put down the book, and collect my thoughts. Geri Krotow's characters make you think about your own life, examine where you've been and where you are going. She is at her best when writing about family dynamics and relationships between different generations in a family.

I'm looking forward to many more novels from this talented author!

Kathleen M. Rodgers ~ author of the award-winning novel "The Final Salute."
Ranked #1 on Amazon's Top Rated War Fiction - 2012
Ranked #2 on Amazon's Bestselling Military Aviation - 2010.
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on March 28, 2012
This is a heart warming story of three generations of a family whose love and history spans a time of great political and emotional change in our country. It is a story about connections, attitudes and acceptance. As the mother of a family that still, to this day, deals a bit with some of the prejudice addressed in the book (although to a greatly limited extent), I found myself relating a bit to Debra. Throughout the story, regardless of the times or struggles, love wins out, and isn't that what we all hope for?
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on February 6, 2014
It was tough but also good to read about what the family went through as they grew up and also as adults coming
From different backgrounds and also different races. I enjoyed the ending as things came together for them.
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on July 29, 2014
What Family Means is a lovely examination of the qualities of a good marriage strained by conflicts both internal and external. I wish that more books made marriage this appealing without glossing over the complexities.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
The theme of this story is commendable and one that I often enjoy reading about. However, I feel that this story rambles a bit and glosses over some of threads that were of most interest to me. I would like to have read more about how the mother-in-law reconciled herself to the interracial marriage. And just why did the heroine worry so much about her daughter's marriage that it began to cause trouble in her own? I dunna know...this read more like a soap opera rather than a story about the trials and tribulations of an interracial marriage.
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