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Black Ice Paperback – February 4, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
-Jackie Gropman, Richard Byrd Library, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I've been wondering if the title has anything to do with the lake that Lorene visited in the story when she took the time to think about her life one night. Or maybe it is a visual reference to her heart, dark and cold because she, in her own words, had not loved enough during her teen-age years. Perhaps, it is a reference to the black ice on the roads that you have to watch out for in the winter...
One gets the impression that the author may not, when she published this book, have completely resolved her feelings.
For the most part, this is a well-told story (except towards the end). I particularly liked the contrast between her artistocratic life at St. Paul and her life when she came back to her working class home for the summer before senior year and worked at the Dinner. There she met Booker, the pot-smoking, tough-guy head cook and reveals him to be a tragic figure.
that speaks to the many problems of growing up in a complex world.
It is the story of a young Philadelphian who attends a private
boarding school in New Hampshire. She was accepted into St. Paul's
shortly after it was opened to women and at a time when the school was
interested in broadening its cultural base. Even with the uniqueness of
the school experience, this story is about the trials and
unpredictability of growing up.
This is an excellent reading for high school students because
of its accurate and authentic portrayal of the volatile years of high school.
It is a true coming of age story with all of its uncertainties and complications.
Students can identify with her journey toward knowledge of herself and
the world; they can relate to her struggles in learning who she
could trust, making strong decisions, and assuming responsibility for her actions.
Her narration often includes her fears which can be liberating
for high school students who may feel they are the only ones who have
felt this fear.
While it can be an affirming experience for students to read about
familiar problems, an additional benefit of this coming of age story
is the oppurtunity for witnessing the subtleties of racism in the modern
world. Lorene Carey's frank narration about the confusion and
fear she felt in the traditional world of St. Paul's challenges
the reader to question the power of social institutions.
Finally, Black Ice inspires meaningful discussions on the issues
and complications facing students hoping to find their place in a
demanding, changing world.
Cary does do some great things with language in this memoir. Many descriptions are beautifully poetic, and the metaphor of black ice is one that will stick with me. But there were also many flaws in this book, the greatest being that I feel as though she did not do enough to let the reader in. Perhaps I expect more from memoirs, but one of the reasons I enjoy reading them so much is for the insights writers share when they look back on the experiences they choose to write about. Memoir can allow for great intimacy between writer and reader, and Cary just does not do that here. Perhaps distancing herself was intentional, but it was not a tactic that worked for me. She does a good job describing the black female experience in a world that was previously all-white, all-male, but I feel like she could have gone deeper, as far as how she personally felt about the particular aspects of her life that she chose to share. Coming-of-age stories are ones I naturally gravitate to, as there is so much emotion to explore in that adolescent experience, and in my opinion, Cary only skimmed the surface. She couldn't break through the black ice the book is named for, so the experiences she writes about seem a bit watered-down.
I also had a hard time keeping track of some of the characters. Many of her schoolmates in particular appeared so fleetingly, and weren't developed enough, so that I found myself paging backwards to remind myself who some of them were.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written but, for this reader, ultimately unsatisfying, look at a black girl's years at a prestigious prep school in New Hampshire. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MJS
Lorene Cary's memories and observations of being a black woman at white, male St. Paul's School in the early 70's is evocative, insightful, passionate and eloquent.Published 11 months ago by Lawrence A. Smith
I whole-heartedly relate. Weaving familial stories, wisdom gleaned during ever-changing times, personal hopes and failures, all into the tapestry of one`s own life is hard work. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by LaTonya
I had heard many things about this memoir, and they prompted me to buy the book. Upon reading it, I did not find the memoir particulary challenging, nor was it particularly well... Read morePublished on November 5, 2012 by Doctor Strong
I just reviewed this sellar and gave them a poor rating, myapologies. I was looking at the worng book (we had ordered 3 copies). This sellar sent a nice copy of the book. Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by bk
Got this for a college Women Studies' class. Also can be used for general reading. Very good book & highly recommended for students interested in African-American history.Published on June 22, 2010 by Funmi M. Oyekunle
Lorene Carey's book, left alot to be desired. THe racism inside of the pages is either subtle or seemingly imaginary. Read morePublished on December 20, 2008 by audrey
This book is interesting, and the author actually spoke at my school (Temple University) which was awesome. She goes into detail within the book and leaves you guessing.Published on January 8, 2008 by Darryn J. Lee