In the Shadow of the Peacock

Grace F. Edwards, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $17.95 (279p) ISBN 978-0-07-019037-5
The Peacock is a bar in Harlem whose lights cast flickering shadows in the apartment where Frieda has lived with her daughter Celia since the child's birth during a riot in the early 1940s. Celia's father died in that riot trying to save a little boy's grandmother from a burning building. The shock of his death, added to earlier abuse suffered in the South, instills permanent fear in Frieda's heart; as a result, Celia's upbringing is strict and carefully controlled. Forbidden to accept a scholarship to a college outside the city, Celia stays in New York and falls in love with a young man whose experience and style are light-years beyond her own. When her uncles discover that he is the boy who sent Celia's father into the fire, they quietly force him to leave, fearing Frieda will collapse under the strain of that connection. Celia finishes school during the ferment of the '60s and finds a job in publishing, aware that she is one of the new token blacks. Pulling away from her mother, she visits a friend who has moved to the Caribbean and falls in love with a man who asks her to stay. She returns to New York uncertain of her previous ambitions, knowing that she must decide what kind of life she will live. Paying full tribute to the power of love, this first novel is vibrant with emotion and rich with the color and texture of everyday life in Harlem during the '40s, '50s and '60s. The author bears convincing witness to the hopes and sorrows of Celia's coming of age. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-595-12940-9
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