Ballantine, August 2003, 32.95, 224 pp.
Her mother abandoned Cassandra to her grandmother, who did her duty but had no love to give to the young child. When her grandmother died, her great-uncle Woody and his wife Ivy took her in and treated her like the child they wanted but could never have. The Isle's took Cassandra out of the ghetto that was Forest Street and moved her into their upscale apartment hotel in Cook County Hyde Park.
During a family reunion, a man who lives on Forest Street drops by to beg Woody who has a lot of political and criminal connections to help him find his missing granddaughter who was last seen at a local grocery store. When Woody and Ivy go to the store where the granddaughter was last seen, the owner gives them a ring she left behind. That piece of jewelry is tied to a murder case that took place years ago, one in which many people felt the wrong man was convicted. As Woody, Ivy, and Cassandra delve further into the two cases, somebody is out to keep them quiet at any cost.
The protagonists are black, the year is 1965 eight days after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Riots have erupted in Chicago and the national guard is called in to restore order. Charlotte Carter gives her readers a fine sense of place and time through a strong descriptive story that seems common for that era. Told from the perspective of a twenty-year-old college student, the audience learns how blacks felt about their position in society back them. JACKSON PARK is the first installment in what looks to be a great new series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner