WHITES ONLY — Words that adorned every building in Livingston, Virginia during the summer of 1963. Words that told Stephen that what he felt for his colored neighbor Ruthie was wrong. In time, Ruthie becomes the only ray of sunshine in his life and he is not willing to let her go without a fight … a fight that could lead to murder.
Summertime in Virginia, in the turbulent Sixties. Race relations grow more strained. Stephen’s father is murdered, and the boy is pulled over by police 700 miles away from the scene of the crime. A broken taillight causes the pullover. The fact that Stephen’s girl friend is in the car complicates things. The fact that Stephen is white and she is black really complicates them.
Those words adorned every building in Livingston, Virginia during the summer of 1963, confusing and angering a five-year-old Stephen Phillips.
Those words told Stephen that what he felt for his colored neighbor Ruthie was wrong.
As he grows older, Ruthie becomes the only ray of sunshine in his abusive life and he is not willing to let her go without a fight, a fight that could lead to murder.
The title of this story comes from the Bill Withers song:
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.
It’s not warm when she’s away.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long anytime she goes away.
I didn’t think I would like this story because I knew it would be full of misery and pain. Well, it was, but the ending was surprisingly beautiful! I loved it!
This is a story of racism, love, and secrets from the past all colliding in one couple’s lives.
This story contains a lot of pain but leaves you with hope at the end. Not necessarily justice, but definitely with hope.
The author holds no punches in her writing. She writes about ugly subjects most people would prefer to hide, including the characters in this story. The father is abusive, the son is in love with the mulatto neighbor girl, and the passion and anger in the book grow until it explodes.
Editor’s note: And the next review, not written in the King’s English but with a heartfelt eloquence that cannot–and should not–be ignored:
love this so deep what i learn in this book love has no color when you love someone you should them. great read fast to i will buy book again fromm this author
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