Beyond the Fire

Amanda Wheeler, Author
Amanda Wheeler, Author Ivy Books $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-14934-8
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The fire in the title can be read either as love's first passion or as the political upheaval of the '60s. In this romance set in the early '70s, Nina Lewis, a law student at U.C., Berkeley and David Hamilton, a reporter on Oakland Sentinel have to come grips with both. Nina and David find their personal and professional lives increasingly tangled by the mayoral campaign that Nina works for and David covers and by past entanglements on the verge of becoming nasty. Some of the initial dialogue is hard to swallow (""It's a symbol of your exotic, liberated nature. Nina, with hair like a lion's mane,"" says David of Nina's afro, which by the by is straightened in the cover art). But once you're past that, it's a good narrative with a great final twist and a real sense of the difficult political atmosphere facing blacks when the radical spirit of the '60s faced the stark realities of the '70s. (Apr.)
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