Sweet Eyes

Jonis Agee, Et, Author Crown Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57515-4
Honey Parrish of Divinity, Iowa, drinks too much, sleeps around and talks to her dead lover. As Agee ( Bend This Heart ) describes her in this richly textured first novel, Honey is a woman drifting toward madness while searching for something that will anchor her to safety.The main cause of her wavering reason is Honey's dysfunctional WASP family, including an abusive father, a psychotic brother called Sonny Boy and a 300-pound sister oddly named Baby. Honey is also plagued by the voice of Clinton, her dead lover, until Jasper Johnson comes along. Johnson, the ``sweet eyes'' of the title, is the town's only black man. His tempestuous affair with Honey is the spark that fires a smoldering racism in the community, spearheaded by Sonny Boy. Fearing that her brother's bigotry caused the death of a young black woman 15 years earlier, Honey launches a painful search for the truth. When she learns the killer's identity, she begins to lose her mind. It is Jasper's love, awakening her self-respect, that saves Honey. Her sense of self-worth also helps her to mete out a kind of justice to the murderer. While Agee demonstrates that the roots of psychosis and violence often start within the family, she also makes a case for the family's importance--and for the necessity of self-esteem--writing with fearless precision and evocative detail. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 405 pages - 978-0-06-097450-3
Paperback - 405 pages - 978-0-8032-5948-5
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