Right by My Side

David Haynes, Author New Rivers Press $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89823-147-2
Black teenager Marshall Field Finney is doing his time at a suburban St. Louis high school (``all crap and lies, smug rich white kids and deadly dull teachers'') when life gets complicated. Marshall decides to write down what has happened and ``run it by again'' to figure things out; the result is this book. The goal, according to Marshall, is to ``look real good on the last page.'' First Rose, Marshall's mother, springs a surprise by leaving home. Sam, his dad, is devastated, but Marshall tells her ``Good riddance.'' Next, Miss O'Hare, the English teacher, zeroes in on Marshall for her student-involvement discussion group. Marshall is skeptical of her whole ``we can make a real difference'' thing, but the teacher's do-good passion smacks his chum Todd right between the eyes, turning a perfectly normal ``P.W.T.'' (poor white trash) kid into class president and an activist. Then Sam takes an interest in a succession of women, including the mother of one of Marshall's friends. In his first novel, Haynes offers engaging characters who tackle fundamental issues such as love, family and benevolence. By the end of this work, Marshall achieves his goal: he does indeed look good, and so does Haynes. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-385-31889-1
Prebound-Other - 179 pages - 978-0-606-13740-9
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