Walking in Tall Weeds

Robin W. Pearson. Tyndale House, $25.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4964-5371-6

Pearson (‘Til I Want No More) delivers a poignant portrait of a Black family at a crossroads as they deal with long simmering racial tensions. Paulette Baldwin is going through a late midlife crisis, and her relationship with her husband, Fred, has become strained. Fred has long worked for a furniture company run by the white George family, with whom the Black Baldwin family have a difficult history going back decades. Fred obsesses over getting justice for the racism his ancestors endured at the hands of earlier generations of Georges, but Paulette urges him to forgive and focus on their future. She rejoices when her son McKinley comes home for a rare visit, but her excitement cools when she discovers that he intends to propose to Emmeline George, daughter of the Georges and McKinley’s childhood friend. Then things get worse after Paulette learns that Fred has secretly used their savings to take over the Georges’ company. To make it through the crisis as a family, the Baldwins must learn “to love—and forgive—the way Jesus loved and forgave.” Pearson skillfully captures the complexity of family dynamics and the ways racism’s scars persist across generations, but the neat resolution feels pat and unearned. Still, there’s lots to chew on. Pearson’s fans will appreciate this. (July)
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR
THE BEST NEW BOOKS
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR THE BEST NEW BOOKS