In Black & White

by Catherine Lavender
Chamomile Books

"Her father was an unspoken secret for decades... Micah only knew that her father was white."

This isn't your typical "girl goes looking for her roots" story. The main character Micah grows up as a biracial child of the sixties. Never knowing her biological father, she assumes that he abandoned her mother before she was born. Turns out, he did no such thing—well, not exactly. What does Micah do when confronted with the information that her father is the famous writer, Sidney Irving, and that he has left her millions, among other things?

Lavender skillfully keeps readers in suspense with just enough foreshadowing and intrigue to keep them interested, but not enough information to give the plot away too soon. Beyond good use of foreshadowing, the author's best writing talent might be her use of dialogue. Lavender, quickly conjures the close friendship between a dying man and his friend.

"And here I thought you would be up for a round of golf, but you are still lounging in bed."
"Don't worry, Nate... I made my peace. My time has come."
"Don't say that.... It is my turn to beat you in a game of chess."

It is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Such compelling writing and dialog forces readers onto a tumultuous emotional roller coaster again when the book describes how mixed race couples were torn apart in the sixties. "...a dignified woman whose only crime had been falling in love with a white man. In the sixties, such an indiscretion was not permissible." Then, flashing forward fifty years, the resulting love child inherits almost everything her father had and racial tension is no longer an issue in her life.

Gripping from start to finish, the book is certainly entertaining, but the best part might be the ending. In Black & White is so engaging that it won't take readers long to get there.

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