If Sons, Then Heirs

Lorene Cary, Author
Lorene Cary, Atria, $24 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-1022-2
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-1024-6
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-1-4516-1023-9
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Cary tells a complex story of family, race, and the challenges of reconciling the present with a persistent past. Alonzo Rayne was raised in South Carolina by his great-grandmother, Selma. Now he owns a construction business in Philadelphia and lives with Lillie, a single mom, and her seven-year-old son, Khalil. As the story begins, Khalil accompanies Alonzo to South Carolina where Alonzo urges the aging Selma to sell her land so they can pay for her long-term care. But she hasn't owned the land since King, her husband, died almost 50 years ago; Selma was King's second wife, not an heir, and this unforeseen fact, combined with ancient, racist inheritance laws, makes for a sticky situation. And Alonzo's mother suddenly wanting to reconnect after years of abandonment further complicates matters; her marriage to the white man she met after abandoning her son turned her life around. Finally, Alonzo's investigation into his great-grandmother's land puts him on a collision course with the men who brought about his great-grandfather's violent end. Cary (Black Ice) pairs generations of loving, and loyal individuals with social history, making for an absorbing and moving tale. (May)
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