From Publishers Weekly
Recent headline-making custody cases are echoed in this contrived, yet provocative book. Selma Richards, black, illiterate and drug-addicted, sold her premature baby boy Isaiah to Margaret and Charles Lewin, an affluent white couple, for $25,000. Two and a half years later, Selma has turned her life around: she is drug-free, employed, learning to read--and she wants her son back. But Isaiah is now a cherished part of the Lewin family and they will not give him up easily. Using the connections of her sympathetic reading tutor, Selma hires a powerful attorney, and a bitter custody case begins. What is in Isaiah's best interests? A strong cultural identity? Emotional and material security? Mystery writer Margolis ( Disappearing Acts ) turns a sharp eye on the legal system, the media and the less savory side of family life. Selma's pompous and self-serving attorney has his own reasons for taking her case. Charles unwisely begins an affair with a seductive co-worker. And Selma is pressured into adopting a deceptive life style. The message of the book is manipulatively delivered, some passages seem extraneous and the frequent switches in point of view are a blow to cohesion. Nonetheless, the story is generally engrossing and, to its credit, offers no pat answers to complicated issues. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-Selma Richards is single, black, illiterate, and living in Brooklyn. Margaret Lewin is married, white, educated, and has an Upper West Side Manhattan address. The common thread? Selma sold her child to Margaret in infancy for $25,000. Now she has turned her life around and wants to make a home for her son. She's kicked drugs, gotten a job, saved some money, and joined a literacy program. But most important, she's black, like Isaiah, and she is his birth mother. Margaret has seen the boy through a difficult infancy, provided him with what appears to be a stable home for two-and-a-half years, nurtured and loved him, and made him an indispensable part of her family. And what is best for Isaiah? That is the question in this thought-provoking, nonjudgmental book.
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Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.