Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing and Gritty Portrait, October 28, 2008
This review is from: Where the Line Bleeds (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed Where the Line Bleeds. This book is about choices made growing up in a poor part of America. Christophe and Joshua are fraternal twins, fresh out of high school. When the story opens, they are ready to seek jobs. The future is unclear, if wide open.

They are surrounded with family members whose own lives are either guideposts or hazards. Their father, Sandman, is largely absent because of addiction to drugs. Their mother has left for Atlanta and a series of decent jobs working retail. She provides the brothers with material needs, but she is woefully absent as a caregiver.

Instead, the twins are really cared for by their grandmother, Ma-Mee, and a cousin, Dunny.

Sandman, in particular, is a strong character. Easily he is one of the most pitiable figures in a book that I have read in a long time. For the author to make a person who is an absentee father and an addict into such a person takes a lot of doing. He is a ghost to the reader for a while, but by the end, I felt bad for him.

This book has a strong sense of place. It is set in a small town on the shore line of the Mississippi River. There is not a lot of opportunity in Bois Sauvage, or even in its sister community of St. Catherine's, where the white families live. The soil is full of clay. You need 10 acres to grow enough, so back when it was an agricultural community for African-Americans retreating from New Orleans, the people settled in a very spread out fashion. It is after Katrina. The economy is limited. The port has good jobs. Most jobs are in gas stations or fast food, though.

It was that sense of place that made me like this book so much. There is a lot of detail here that testifies to a way of life: what to get at the store if you want to boil shrimp, the code of conduct among kids playing pick-up basketball, the joy of wearing a nice outfit on the Fourth of July.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.3 out of 5 stars (46 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (12)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
$15.00 $12.37
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Durham, NC

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,558