Dial Press, Feb 2002, 23.95, 402 pp.
As heavily scarred Charlotte Halsey recovers from the brutal beating, she wonders if the police are right that her husband Milo Robicheaux committed the atrocity as she cannot remember. The police case is powerful as Milo has her blood on him, cuts on his hands, and glass on his shoes. Punching out a cop at the scene does not lend credence to his claim that he was only trying to breathe life into Charlotte.
Charlotte looks back over their life together starting in the 1970s in college in Vermont where he was the rare black winter Olympic level athlete. Years later they meet again when she is a successful model and he is a retired sports figure who turned to acting. They fall in love and marry. The two public figures try to make their interracial marriage work though outside intrusion is the norm.
What determines whether readers will enjoy WHITEGIRL depends on the literary tastes of the audience. Those who write the plot off as an OJ rehashing is making a mistake because except on a superficial level, the plot is nothing close to the Simpsons saga. Instead, the story line looks deep into what fame under the public microscope does to relationships. Those readers who expect a did-he-do-it mystery will not enjoy this novel, especially the ending. Those fans who relish an insightful perusal of the relationship between a couple under the public's dissection will want to read Kate Manning's deep gaze into an interracial duo who sadly would have made it if they were not media darlings.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner