5 out of 5 stars
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In the book, Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now by T. Partrick Graves, we follow the tumultuous journey of Johnny Desmond as he navigates a life filled with foster homes and endures various forms of abuse after being separated from his mother. As he grows older, Johnny becomes a fervent advocate for a racist movement, willing to take on any job to prove his allegiance. Amidst this backdrop, an unexpected relationship blossoms between Johnny and a woman named Jenny. The novel delves into Johnny's pursuit of his racist beliefs, the fate of his relationship with Jenny, and the lingering question of whether his mother will ever be released from jail.
One of the notable aspects of this story is its exploration of a coming-of-age narrative for a protagonist who had a challenging upbringing. Johnny's experiences being shuffled between foster homes and enduring abuse shaped his desire for a sense of belonging. When he finally finds himself living with Peter's family, he eagerly takes on menial tasks that ultimately land him in trouble.
The book is primarily narrated from Johnny's perspective, which provides a clear understanding of the story. The author's choice to use Johnny's voice as the main narrative voice is commendable, as it allows readers to connect deeply with the protagonist.
The unconventional love story between Johnny and Jenny is another captivating element. Their relationship develops from a deep friendship, evolving beyond the circumstances that brought them together. Johnny's love for Jenny grows from a genuine connection, distinct from his past sexual encounters, such as his involvement with Andrea, a young lawyer he met during his time in prison.
The book delves into important societal issues, including racism, homosexuality, American politics, and the experiences of Jewish individuals. These themes provide valuable insights and opportunities for reflection.
The character development of Johnny is a strong point in the book. He undergoes significant personal growth throughout the story. While he acknowledges his fondness for non-white individuals like Lester Kelvin, he still harbors prejudiced views. This duality presents both a character flaw and a realistic portrayal by the author.
Johnny's complex relationship with his mother is another aspect that provokes deep reflection. Reading about Johnny's mother and the father figure who raised him abandoning him is heartbreaking. The choices and lifestyle of Johnny's mother add another layer of sorrow. The uncertainty of whether Johnny will ever reunite with his mother creates a compelling hook that kept me engaged until the final chapter.
I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of black American informal language and slang, which added excitement and relatability to the book. Patrick's writing prowess is evident, as the story flowed seamlessly, keeping me engrossed from page to page.
Overall, there was nothing I disliked about Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now. The book offers valuable life lessons, making it suitable for mature readers and young adults alike. Johnny's journey showcases the potential for redemption when one truly feels remorse for their past actions.
Although the book had a few minor errors, it was well edited, allowing the story to shine through. Based on the reasons I mentioned earlier, I wholeheartedly give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a thought-provoking and enlightening read that delves into American politics and racism. It will also be beneficial for young adults.
Let us not talk falsely now
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