A LITTLE PIECE OF SKY

Nicole Bailey-Williams, Author, Nicole Bailey Williams, Author . Broadway/Harlem Moon $9.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7679-1216-7

This story of an African-American girl who beats the odds is certainly familiar, but Bailey-Williams's spare narration and concise prose establish her as a new author with a powerful voice and plenty to say. Song Byrd was born into the ghetto of North Philadelphia with an absent father, a mother who turns to prostitution, a sister who steals to support her drug habit and a brother who winds up in prison for raping an elderly woman. What saves Song is her inner strength and the attentions of a neighbor named Miss Olga, but her pivotal break comes on the heels of tragedy, when her mother is shot by the girlfriend of one of her paramours. Song moves in with her father, although the girl still battles the guilt she feels over her mother's death. That guilt leads to a revelatory sequence of chapters in which Song sees a therapist and comes to terms with her past, while negotiating a new relationship with a young man named Anthony. The narrative appeals, but what really makes the book work is the incisive, succinct and compelling prose, which turns a simple story into an insightful character exploration. Bailey-Williams's success will ultimately rest on her ability to take her plots in different directions, but this debut marks her as a promising figure in this genre. Agent, Kate Garrick. (Oct. 8)

Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X