John Small is a good guy. Born privileged, he is the son of a black land and business owner, in South Carolina during Jim Crow. John watched his father take on many battles, due in large part to the color of his skin. When the Klan burned his father out of the home he built for his family, John saw his Isiah Small become more determined to succeed in the face of racist oppressive behavior. He hired black men to work the land on several plots he owned throughout the area. The workers made more with Isiah Small than white men at the plant where blacks were not hired. John Small respected his parents. Although he attended college far away from Nedine, South Carolina, it was understood, that he would return after receiving an education and open up the towns first black bank.
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John returns home to Nedine with Madeline on his arm. His parents, Isiah and Henny have never had the pleasure of meeting one of their son's girlfriends. John allowed Madeline to convince him that she needed to go home with him. Madeline is crass, brash and hell-bent on taking John for his money, and she wants to get her hands on his parent's land. As the newcomer imposes on the grace of John and his family, John's Grandmother gets a feeling that something isn't right. Grandma Allene has the gift of prophecy and can smell trouble before John and his girlfriend Maxine settle into their rental car at the airport.
Madeline knows how to to crank up the good stuff in the romance department so much so, that John overlooks many things in order to stay in Madeline's sexual grace.
He doesn't know that Madeline is certifiably crazy until they roll into his hometown. Mad that they didn't fly first class, and angrier still at staying at a regular hotel instead of a five star joint, Madeline begins to show her true colors.
While this is going on in the past, John's granddaughter Alexandria is having issues with visions in present day time. In her mid twenties, Alexandria has completed law school, likes her job, and is beginning to feel some kind of way about her passionless relationship with Peter. A frustrated artist of spoken word is not getting support or the right kind of love from her current beau.
Enter her great-great grandmother Allene who knows Alexandria has the gift of prophecy also. Allene's grandmother Susan was African and brought the gift across the waters after being kidnapped from her village by white captors. She had been royalty in her village and was determined to keep her gift of sight, in order to protect her family on uncommon shores.
Alexandria finally gives in to the visions, meeting her great-great grandmother and learning how her gift which had caused her so much angst for twenty-five years, was now being seen for its beauty.
With his grandmother's quiet yet strong help, the gold-digging Madeline hits the road after going all out to get John to marry her, while having a complete breakdown in the process. She re-enacted the scene from Thin Line Between Love & Hate, where Lynn Whitfield does bodily harm to herself and blames it on a guy she is dating.
John ends up with someone who is a real partner. He finds all he needs in Lizzy. Although, Elizabeth is John's best friend Maxx's little sister, they get past the awkwardness and Elizabeth and John discover true love. In present day, Alexandria gives verbally and emotionally abusive Peter the boot, and pairs with P.J., a childhood chum who encourages artist endeavors and poetry, while treating her like a lady. The only problem is, PJ's dad and Alexandria's mom used to be a thing, and it appears the flame is still burning on the both ends.
As Alexandria becomes comfortable with her gift, she also grows in self-love, knowledge, and inner-peace. She deals better with being mixed-race. She loves her European born father, but wonders if her mother would have been better off marrying PJ's dad years earlier. She questioned her mother having feelings for someone else for years while keeping it a secret from her dad. PJ was a conscious black man and some of that had to have come from his father. PJ's love and support, make him an ally for Alexandria as she accepts her gifts and is able to see even more. She agrees not to read PJ's mind as a meeting point for boundaries and respect in their relationship.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked the way history is recognized in this story, and I appreciate the author for taking time to lend a bit of fact-based information inside of fiction.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was the rather gory one where Madeline is viscous with beating herself up.
Opinion about the main character:
Alexandria was not as confident as I would have liked her to be initially. She did step-up once she worked out the anxiety over her gift.