Opening line: "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist." In her third novel, Jones writes about the link between two African-American half sisters, one legitimate and one secret, only one of whom knows the other exists. That is, until the secret of their father's second marriage starts to force its way into the open. Rather than writing back-and-forth between two perspectives, the reader encounters almost all of one sister's point of view in the first half, followed by the other's. The result is an absorbing coming-of-age narrative wrapped in a complicated family novel. I already loved this book, but when we discussed it with author Tayari Jones in the MMD Book Club, my appreciation and enjoyment skyrocketed, as so often happens. I love to peel back all the layers of a good book.More info →
Tayari Jones's debut novel is based on the 1979 Atlanta child murders. From the publisher: "It's the end of summer in Atlanta, and fifth-grade classmates Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover that back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. Because it was the summer during which Atlanta's African-American children were vanishing. The moving story of their struggle to grow up and survive shimmers with the piercing, ineffable quality of childhood, as it captures all the hurts and little wins, the all-too-sudden changes, and the merciless, outside forces that can sweep the young into adulthood and forever shape their lives."More info →
Tayari Jones's second novel centers around Aria Jackson, who as a child, lost her father and sister in a car accident. Years later, she's done her best to establish a life for herself. Until she thinks she is pregnant but finds instead that she is experiencing early menopause. At the local literacy center she works at, she is drawn to Keisha, a teen pregnant with her second child. Not wanting to tell her fiancé she's infertile, Aria claims to have lost the baby. But Dwayne's wish for a child remains. Aria watches as Keisha's pregnancy progresses, and Aria's life becomes layered with lies.More info →
From Tayari Jones, author of the New York Times best seller and Oprah’s Book Club pick An American Marriage, comes an intimate, powerful story of two sisters.
Identical twins Amelia and Camelia Hall were born with the same face, and that’s about it: By the time the girls were through school, the matching set of names could no longer contain them. Now there’s Cam, whose contrarian streak led her to a career in law, and Lia, who followed more closely in her parents’ footsteps with her dermatology practice and married-with-children lifestyle in Atlanta’s Glenwood Park.
But the bond between the sisters is deep and unshakable - Cam serves as the maid of honor on Lia’s wedding day and as her attorney 15 years later, when Lia’s life and the lives of her two teenage daughters are rocked by divorce. And two years after her separation, the dust is finally starting to settle. But in the hazy glow of their first years of marriage, Lia gifted her then-husband a precious, irreplaceable family heirloom, and she decides that now, she must do whatever she can to get it back, starting with breaking and entering.
In Half Light, Jones explores the complex, profound bond of family, both the family we’re born with and the family we choose, against the vibrant backdrop of present-day Atlanta.More info →