From Publishers Weekly
The issues of biracial marriage and racial bigotry are explored with potent insight and literary skill in McLarin's second novel (after Taming It Down). During the explosive aftermath of Rodney King's police assailants' trial in L.A., veteran reporter Porter Stockman was attacked and almost beaten to death by rioters. Now back home in Philadelphia, Porter is elated to reencounter Lenora "Lee" Page, a black woman who saved his life. Coincidentally, Lee, also a seasoned journalist, has just accepted a job on the Record, Porter's paper. Though they are both well aware of the cultural prejudices against biracial relationships, Porter passionately woos Lee while she struggles with a lifelong determination to fraternize solely with members of her own race. Eventually, she overcomes her misgivings, and joyously (but at Lee's insistence, secretly) they become lovers. When Lee's best friend pays her a surprise visit and meets Porter, however, Lee must try to justify her shift. And Porter, made uneasy by Lee's preoccupation with race, questions his own vaunted belief in equality. McLarin pulls no punches in her candid portrayal of the conflicts that often occur when conscientious adults examine assumptions each race makes about the other, and when they acknowledge, even against their will, the existence of solid barriers separating racial groups. Strong characterization lifts the narrative far above stereotype. Porter and Lee are a pair of personable and tortured lovers who reflect their unique pasts in psychologically nuanced portrayals. Their story may be a cautionary tale for those who would pit individuality against group identity. Primarily, though, this is a gripping novel about love and the obstacles it encounters even in so-called enlightened society.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Porter Stockman, a white journalist, finds his life in jeopardy when he gets caught in a race riot following the acquittal of the four Los Angeles policemen who assaulted black motorist Rodney King in 1992. In the commotion appears Lenora Page, a black reporter, who rescues him and then disappears. Later, upon returning home to the Philadelphia Record, Porter is surprised and delighted to find his savior has taken a position at his paper. He wonders why she risked her own life to save a white guy stupid enough to get caught up in a race riot. And what is she doing at the Record? A turbulent relationship begins in which Lenora suspects Porter's attraction to her is driven by ulterior motives having to do with race, and he, in turn, is constantly on the defensive, guarding his resentment against her pessimism. McLarin (Taming It Down), a former reporter, illuminates the roadblocks that society and endemic distrust place in the path of biracial couples. At the same time, she treats readers to a surprisingly complex love story laced with the kind of breezy humor we expect from writers like Bebe Moore Campbell and Terry McMillan. Recommended for all public libraries. Jennifer Baker, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.