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Shadow of Light Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852424923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852424923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,364,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'[An] impassioned first novel...there is no doubt that he is a talented writer.' - Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

James E. Cherry is a southern-born black man. He experienced a spiritual, mental, and cultural awakening in his mid-twenties, which inspired him to become a writer. Shadow of Light is his first novel.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Walter Robinson considers himself a great man.
Amazon Customer
This one exposes social reality through the mind of a character: It allows truth to reignite a reader's insight through the telling of the story.
Bryan Perry
I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to future works by this author.
Reader's Paradise

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Forrest looks like a typical small Southern town; however, below the surface in the Tennessee town, racial tension waits for the incident to explode. One night after planning and casing a house where a respected black woman lives, white males burst in to rob it. They expected the elderly female "Black Mama" to be at church as she always is, but instead she was home. The leader of the invaders Ronny Solomon rapes her before shooting her.

Miraculously she lives and her livid grandson police detective Walter Robinson wants to know how close his peers are o catching the culprits. All local blacks decry the crime, but Walter's nephew neighborhood druglord Cebo wants white blood to flow especially those who committed the obscenity. He informs the police that if the SOBs are not in custody within forty-eight hours a cop will die; another will die every forty-eight hours afterward until there are no police or the perps are caught. The town is a powder keg with only Walter able to keep the fuse from igniting, but he sympathizes with his nephew as this is his beloved grandma.

It does not take a lot of words to describe the town where blacks see no way out of poverty that engulfs communities. In some way James E. Cherry's vivid description of a town without pity feels somewhat 1960s yet the author makes the case that poverty is the modern day de facto racism. Walter is a good person and cop as he tries to glide above the racial divide even as he understands how many whites look down at blacks; he vents his frustration on his wife. However this time he cannot ignore the incident nor does he truly want too. How he acts will determine whether this town burns down in a Forrest fire or not as James E. Cherry provides a strong thriller that plays out on two levels: town-wide and character poignancy.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader's Paradise VINE VOICE on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
One of the best kept secrets in the literary genre is James E. Cherry; poet, fiction writer and NAACP nominated image award recipient. I'm not sure why I haven't heard of this book before February 22nd, but I'm glad this author contacted Reader's Paradise and introduced us to "Shadow of Light".

The protagonist Walter Robinson; tells the story about his grandmother who is robbed and raped by a gang of white teens. Working as a police officer Walt knows better than anybody the prejudice and racial tension boiling in his Tennessee home town. However when his grandmother is found he's torn between doing the right thing to prevent a race war or with getting revenge for his grandmother.

Walter finds out that his wife is ready to leave him for suspicions of infidelity and neglect. With his personal life in an uproar his boss, Lt. Peters tells him to take a leave of absence (LOA) but for Walter walking away and leaving 2 murder cases unsolved is not his style. For Lt. Peters it's not what he wants either because he can always depend on Walt to close the hard cases reluctantly Lt. Peters allows him to stay on until the cases.

Shadow of Light brings together the personal with career, color lines and human emotion. This short book had some power packing comments, subplots and dialogue. I especially enjoyed the conversation between Joe and Walt as they talked about the nature of God and Christ's return. The dilemma posed when He returns and how He and God could be feeling today knowing that we still aren't doing the right things made me smile.

Mr. Cherry certainly has earned his space on the same shelf with books like; Black Like Me, The Color of Water, and To Kill A Mockingbird. All hallmarks of literary fiction but this one based on race relations in the South.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Perry on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good novel presents a situation in a way that influences the perceptions of the reader. This one exposes social reality through the mind of a character: It allows truth to reignite a reader's insight through the telling of the story. Truth can hide in dark corners, and a good novel makes the reader think about it all.
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Format: Paperback
Walter Robinson considers himself a great man. In the small town of Forrest, TN, he is the senior black police officer. He has even given himself the credit of training the white police officer who is now his superior. To top it off, he has a wife who has given up her dreams to follow his. Based on his accounts, and from the outside looking in, it appears he has it all together. That is far from the reality.

When Walter's grandmother gets raped by white teenagers, racial tension in the town begins to mount. It is then that Walter realizes his life is actually falling apart and has been for some time.
While the story centers around this heinous crime, the events that took place as a result of the crime were interesting to watch as they unfolded. This story was close to the reality of what I have learned and read about small towns in the south. Both in the past and still today, there are crimes that will further separate an already racially divided population. Gratefully the story was well told and equally balanced so the emotion of anger did not take over as I read. The author created such a connection with each of the characters that their fate became a priority over the crime that had been committed.

Because of the racial tension, the crime, and the different relationships included, this book is filled with topics that present excellent writing and discussion material. I believe it is most effective when read as group, either inside or outside of the classroom. This book provided members of our book club with an enlightening and in depth discussion. I would highly suggest this book as an option if you are looking to do the same.

Book Reviewed by Takisha Harper
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