From Publishers Weekly
There's no mistaking the audience Cleage (Seen It All and Done the Rest
) intends to reach with her grating new novel. After her work on the Obama campaign, 35-year-old Ida Dunbar expects a placement in the new administration, but it appears her hopes are dashed as a result of statements made by her outspoken father, civil rights legend Rev. Horace Dunbar. After his latest ill-considered remark, longtime family friend Miss Iona calls Ida and asks that she return home to Georgia to check on her father. Meanwhile, Wes Harper, the son of the Rev's closest confidante, returns, but for a different purpose: a Republican operative, he's been tasked with securing the Rev's voter database in order to purge the voting rolls. The author paints those associated with Ida and her father with a broad, loving, brush, while Wes and the Republicans are predictably and cartoonishly villainous. With the exception of remembrances of pivotal moments in the civil rights movement, the book is a tedious polemic, even for those inclined to agree with the narrative's political bent. (May)
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Along with Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright, Cleage’s fictional Reverend Horace Dunbar is considered one of the old guard of the civil rights movement. His position in the post-Obama firmament seems secure until the Rev, as he is known, vents an unsuspected level of frustration to a reporter and the rant goes viral on YouTube. The PR fallout is damaging enough to bring his estranged daughter, Ida, home to Atlanta from Washington, where she anxiously awaits a job offer from the White House as a reward for her campaign work. Right behind her on the road to Atlanta, however, is Wes, the son of the Rev’s best friend, covertly sent by the RNC to steal the Rev’s extensive voter-registration list. While she and her father inch toward a rapprochement, Ida and a coterie of sharp, sassy women work to foil Wes’ plans. Within the timely, politically relevant milieu of the new administration, best-selling, incisive Cleage zestfully crafts an intuitive novel of trust and responsibility, kinship and conviction. --Carol Haggas