Gather Together in My Name

Tracy Price-Thompson, Author . Atria $15 (241p) ISBN 978-1-4165-3304-7

Price-Thompson (Chocolate Sangria ) offers a raw, sometimes moving, but flawed novel of triplet boys—Gabriel (Shug), Isaiah (Shyne) and Ezekiel (Shadow) Blackwood—raised in Brooklyn by their widowed mother. Six witnesses reveal the boys' tragic story as the clock ticks toward Shyne's execution for a horrendous crime he didn't commit, the rape and murder of a woman and her three-year-old child. Shadow, their mother's favorite, dies in an accident at age seven, a death Shyne is blamed for. Shyne becomes a street-wise player who's done time, while Shug, mother's new favorite, manages a path to college, law school and politics, including a bid to become the second black mayor of New York City. As Shyne drops all appeals and awaits execution, his reasons for so doing become clear. Price-Thompson skillfully sketches many of the racial rapids blacks must still navigate, but a number of improbable coincidences—such as the prosecutor who sought Shyne's conviction having been sexually involved with Shug at college—distract from the author's message. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-5422-6
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