I just finished Drinking from a Bitter Cup by Angela Jackson-Brown. This fulfills the prompt to read a book “by a person of color.” The back cover describes the book as follows: “After the death of her mother, Sylvia Butler’s father, a man she knows only from an old photo, takes her from Louisville, Kentucky to Ozark, Alabama to live with his family. But his wife resents everything about this intruder, from her out-of-wedlock conception to her dark skin and nappy hair. When the wife’s younger brother Charles returns from Vietnam, Sylvia thinks she has found a friend and confidante, only to be hurt again, but this time, in a manner she never could have imagined.” So, no big mystery what’s going to happen with Uncle Charles, right?
I became re-acquainted with a Dear Friend about four or five years ago. During that visit, she declared she was done reading books where a young girl gets raped by an uncle. I didn’t disagree. This book changed my mind.
Angela Jackson-Brown creates a character so engaging, you’d stick with her through anything. Through a first person narrative, her character shares heartbreaking secrets with a pragmatic sweetness that’s free of judgment and anger. Her characters are believable and likable. Those who hurt her are still loved by her, and she makes you care about them, too, even when you don’t want to.
Read this book.