Published: February 21st 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown BfYR
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Format: eARC via Publisher/Netgalley
You guys, this book…… I don’t think I can really do it justice without spoiling the two plots, but I will give it my best shot. Show of hands, who here knows about the Tulsa Race Riot that happened in 1921? I’ve always seen little snippets about it over the years, but I never really researched it until after I read this book. And then my 15 year old cousin asked me to help her with her hairstyle and wardrobe for a Black History program she’ll be doing at school. I asked what were they doing this year, and she told me they were acting out a little play about the Tulsa Riot. I screamed because I had just read this book 2 days before she called me. Little Brown sent me a finished copy of this beautiful book, so I let my cousin borrow it. She read it at school, now her teacher wants help with getting more books like this for her classroom. My book was returned unharmed. LOL! Okay, enough rambling…
This book has two stories playing out. This was really brilliant, BTW. At the end I felt like everything came full circle. In the present, Rowan and her best friend James investigate the mystery behind a skeleton found on her parents property. In the past, Will is thrust into a racial feud that leaves many dead and the city of Tulsa shaken. The mystery behind the skeleton in present day is tied to the past. What I thought going in was TOTALLY different at the end. I’ll be honest, I hated Will on sight (errr paper). I jumped to conclusions before I got to know him. Here is a biracial guy (White/Native American) who is caught between hating black people and maintaining his friendship with his white friend. All because he thinks that the girl he’s in love with is dating a black guy. It was wrong of me to automatically assume the worst about his character. Everything around Will shifts to uncomfortable levels, and there were many moments when I wanted to just stop reading.
While Rowan investigates the past, there is also her present to consider. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say that learning about everything that happened in the past helped her to see a present crime for what it was. I truly admired her for seeking the truth about what happened in the past and just who that skeleton was. That was a huge twist in the plot, and I was shocked, actually.
With all that has happened, and is still happening, this book is a must read. It blends the past and present brilliantly, and I still can’t get over just how great it turned out. I was almost over all the the racist remarks with some of the characters in this book. Lynchings were very common during the Jim Crow Era, and the KKK were all over the place, so beware of the hatred in this book when you read it. I don’t think it is really understood how African-Americans were treated during those times. I’m not talking about slavery, I’m talking about after-the-fact. No matter how much they tried to come up, white supremacists tried to bring them back down.If you want to know more about the history surrounding this book, look up Black Wall Street. There is a ton of history to know about Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma. I highly recommend this book; especially to those who are looking to venture out of their comfort zone. It has diverse characters, as well as important historical facts that I think a lot of readers would love to know.
About the Author
I’m a grown-up army brat with two kids, two dogs, and a husband. After working in a morgue, a maximum-security prison, a heroin detox, and assorted middle and high schools, I decided to try may hand at writing. Happily, it stuck.
I love watching people.
And I love writing about the characters who live inside my head—even when they don’t play nice.
Check Out What Others Are Saying
2/20: Awkwordly Emma – Q&A
3 Finished Copies of Dreamland Burning (US/Can)