Swimming Between Worlds by Elaine Neil Orr

Swimming Between Worlds

Elaine Neil Orr

A Southern coming-of-age novel that sets three very different young people against the tumultuous years of the American civil rights movement.

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From the critically acclaimed writer of A Different Sun, a Southern coming-of-age novel that sets three very different young people against the tumultuous years of the American civil rights movement...

Tacker Hart left his home in North Carolina as a local high school football hero, but returns in disgrace after being fired from a prestigious architectural assignment in West Africa. Yet the culture and people he grew to admire have left their mark on him. Adrift, he manages his father's grocery store and becomes reacquainted with a girl he barely knew growing up.

Kate Monroe's parents have died, leaving her the family home and the right connections in her Southern town. But a trove of disturbing letters sends her searching for the truth behind the comfortable life she's been bequeathed.

On the same morning but at different moments, Tacker and Kate encounter a young African-American, Gaines Townson, and their stories converge with his. As Winston-Salem is pulled into the tumultuous 1960s, these three Americans find themselves at the center of the civil rights struggle, coming to terms with the legacies of their pasts as they search for an ennobling future.

Advance Galley Reviews

It took me a while into the book to get to the point where I wanted to read it for the information rather than reading just because I needed to read it for a review. The back and forth was a little hard for me to track for a while. The imagery in the book was great though. I could see everything in my mind while I was reading it. It also did make me think about things that were going on in both countries of United States and Nigeria. Tacker Hart is one of the main characters. He Is from the United States. He went to college at the end worked for a company that sent him to Nigeria. We see bits and pieces of his story there in Nigeria. He was considered disgraceful and sent home. We he gets home to North Carolina he was lost. He started working for his dads grocery store to get himself onto his feet. As the story progresses we see how much Tacker changed from being in Nigeria. We see the internal fights he has trying not to rock the boat but at the same time trying to help Gaines and his cause. We meet Kate and get her back story and find out about how both of her parent died and how it affected her. A good portion of her story she is lost and a shell of a human. Towards the end it seems like Tacker and Kate help each other find themselves and fall in love in the process. When Tacker does a sit in with Gaines Kate freaks out. Through several events Kate begins to realize that she should think differently and agrees with Tacker and his points of view. Gaines is an African American young man who came into Harts grocery just to get milk. Tacker allowed him to come in and get it but in the process there was an incident where Gaines was attacked by white people. This is what starts where we see the change in Tacker and his feelings on segregation. It is a complex story with complex characters. The end was emotional but I can't explain how or it might ruin it for others. I do think that it is a book that you should check out for yourself and see if you like it. I received this book for free to read from first to read in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are 100% my own.

An interesting story about a couple who are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after a life-altering event. After Kate's mother passes away, she finds letters that her Dad (also dead) wrote to her Mother telling of his love for someone else and that he was leaving her. Her Dad passed away from drowning after the undertow pulled him too far from shore but after finding the letters, she wonders if it was suicide. Tacker on the other hand is home after being fired from a trip to Africa for becoming too close to the locals. The two find each other as they try to come to grips with their individual issues. The book is centered in Winston Salem in the 1960's. As Tacker becomes more involved in the Civil Rights movement, Kate must face the harsh reality of segregation and decide between her beliefs she has been raised by and what rings true in her heart.. The book is thought provoking and well worth your time. Thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

I am unable to read as I have been unable to download this book.


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