Book review: The Revisioners — by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Now in paperback, “The Revisioners” is award-winning author Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s second novel, and a national bestseller. It is a lively, expansive and deeply moving book composed of three timelines and focused on two women, Josephine and Ava. Josephine’s narrative occupies two time periods in her life: in 1885 she is living out her days as a slave on a Mississippi plantation, possessed of a singular ability to manifest what she “sees” as a route to freedom, while in 1924, she is widowed, an elderly matriarch continuing to help guide her family who now have the responsibility of farming the lands she and her late husband owned. In the alternating chapters, set in 2017 in New Orleans, Ava, a descendant of Josephine, is struggling to create an independent life for herself and her son, and has resigned herself to caring for her ex-mother-in-law, grandmother to King, from the white side of her biracial family, as a means to her end. Both black women are forced to navigate a reality in which white people reach in and take what is not theirs. This moving and artful multigenerational saga skillfully articulates historic and current-day racial tensions, which mirror each other in many ways.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
8 Great Paperback Fiction Books by Black Female Authors
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, by Deesha Philyaw
Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
She Would Be King, by Wayétu Moore
Patsy, by Nicole Dennis-Benn
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