Mama’s Child: A Novel By Joan Steinau Lester

Mama's Child

I’ve been on a kick lately when it comes to my book selections about racism. Being an 80’s baby, I was born into the generation that followed the Civil Rights Movement so I’ve listened to my parents and grandparents tell me a ton of stories over the years. Books that pull me back to that era have always been my favorite.

I was excited when my daily blogging introduced me to the new novel Mama’s Child: A Novel. Joan Steinau Lester weaves together a beautiful story of an interracial family that struggles with maintaining the family unit in an era where racism is very much alive.

I’ve added this to my summer reading list!

From Amazon:

A stunning tale about the deeply entrenched conflicts between a white mother and her biracial daughter.
Mama’s Child is story of an idealistic young white woman who travelled to the American South as a civil rights worker, fell in love with an African American man, and started a family in San Francisco, where the more liberal city embraced them—except when it didn’t. They raise a son and daughter, but the tensions surrounding them have a negative impact on their marriage, and they divorce when their children are still young. For their biracial daughter, this split further destabilizes her already challenged sense of self—“Am I black or white?” she must ask herself, “Where do I belong?” Is she her father’s daughter alone?

As the years pass, the chasm between them widens, even as the mother attempts to hold on to the emotional chord that binds them. It isn’t until the daughter, Ruby, herself becomes a wife and mother that she begins to develop compassion and understanding for the many ways that her own mother’s love transcended race and questions of identity.



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