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Till You Hear from Me: A Novel Hardcover – April 20, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345506375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345506375
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Angelia Menchan on April 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It has been one month since the election of President Barack Obama and Ida B. Wells Dunbar is still waiting for a job offer. She was convinced that by now she would have heard something. Particularly, since she has devoted the past 18 months of her life to helping to get him elected. Ida B. has even gone so far as to tell her father, the Reverend Doctor Paul Dunbar, that she has a job and he has told all of West End Atlanta. To make matters worse it seems that Reverend Dunbar is losing his grip. He has said publicly things about the new administration and other races that has made all who know him squirm and question his sanity. So, when long time family friend, Miss Iona, calls Ida B. and tells her to return home she is not ready, partly because she and her father are not in agreement about the new president and because the whole city thinks she is part of the new administration. However, family is most important and Ida B. must return home at least temporarily. Till You Hear from Me by Pearl Cleage tells the story of what happens when the prodigal daughter returns home and nothing is quite what it seems.

I read Till You Hear from Me by Pearl Cleage in one sItting and enjoyed every word. Ms. Cleage takes us into the world of current politics and mixes it with the way the Old Guard considers the New Negro. There were so many laugh-out loud moments and many others that made this baby-boomer say, `Oh yes.' One interesting component was how the author wrote about what she coined,
The Post Racial Blacks', the group of well-educated African-Americans who feel removed from the civil rights struggle. It will give the reader much to consider. I recommend Till You Hear from Me to every reader who enjoys a well-told story with bits of politics, urban-renewal and old-school common sense.

This novel was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Angelia Menchan
APOOO BookClub
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader Girl on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read other works by the great author Pearl Cleage, Till You Hear From Me is now my favorite. I loved the presence of real people in the novel. I admired the knowledge of the elders,their gentle firmness. Would like to have a continuation, so I can see how Ida's job in Washington in the Obama adminstration works out. I loved this book!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LA Hottie on May 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was timely, funny, and insightful. I would love a sequel to this one. Well done Ms. Cleage!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tavares S. Carney VINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Only child to a stern, know-it-all, old-school civil rights pastor emeritus, and an ultra-feminist mother, Ida B. Wells Dunbar finds her way, and herself, in this tale of old school vs. new school, family and politics.

Post-Obama campaign, Ida hopes to land a position working in the White House, especially after she and her father have worked so hard to help President Obama become elected. The challenge begins when the parent and child dynamic is rocked for differences of opinion, casual outbursts, media frenzy and people with alternative motives.

I particularly enjoyed the way Ms. Cleage wove themes of traditional and new ideologies, politics, community and family into this story. Some of the issues I found myself pondering while reading this selection were the emotional struggles an aging generation may face in passing responsibilities to a younger generation, and acceptance of new technologies and ways of doing things; the level to which some will go for the almighty dollar - greed; and, the importance of not only family, but the well-being of the community and the nation as a whole.

The characters in the story made it even more interesting. I found one of the characters, Miss Ionia, to be very direct, and she even made me laugh a few times. She was my favorite. I read this selection in 2 days, wanting to know what happened next and to finally get to the bottom of the mystery. I recommend this selection and will definitely consider other titles authored by Ms. Cleage.

Review by Tavares S. Carney
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Country Music Fan on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Pearl Cleage's novels. Frankly, I simply get lost in the pages and feel as if I am there in the neighborhood, feeling the beat of the streets, smelling the food, and listening to the music. This woman can write!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CaribbeanCruiser on December 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading "Til You Hear from Me". Couldn't put it down really.

I've had the pleasure of reading many of Pearl Cleage's works over the years. I even met her once during a local Book Club sleepover several Book Clubs hosted years ago. This particular story touched my emotions like no other.

All at the same time - I was proud of the accomplishments of a Black America & the heroes in our midst. This book made me angry at those individuals and organizations who actively & continuously seek to disenfranchise voters, especially the votes of people of color. I am ashamed of & disgusted by the money-hungry, turncoat scoundrels like Wes Harper...

Maybe it's because I've lived in Atlanta metro so long? Maybe it's because I'm a graduate of Spelman College, lived in the West End and have the benefit of seeing a bit of Black History (which is also American History) every day? I don't know. But this book left me feeling a great sense of gratitude to the well known and unknown Black American heroes and Activists who paved the way. As I write this, I have tears overflowing.

Ida B. got to give a speech to thank her Dad, the "Rev". Me - I'm going to call both my earthly father and Heavenly Father and thank each of them too.
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