ELECTION DAY - Keith Thomas Walker
REVIEWER: Barbara Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: ELECTION DAY ushers us into the decades of the 70’s where historically African Americans were reaping the benefits of the long fought Civil Rights battles of the 60s. Change had come, but as the adage goes, “The more things change; the more they stay the same”. We see that at work in Keith Thomas Walker’s compelling story, ELECTION DAY. If you are familiar with the works of this prolific author, then you recognize the familiar setting of the fictional city, Overbrook Meadows. The hero of this story is Leo Sullivan, successful Black lawyer who is nudged into politics because he decides to be part of the solution; not the problem. The heroine is Carla Hunter, dedicated teacher and competent campaign manager for Leo’s mayoral campaign.
I liked the author’s approach to depicting the trials, tragedies, and tenuous steps involved in bringing down the last vestiges of segregated schools during this era. In the story, Leo is prompted to run against the incumbent white mayor who is in no hurry to integrate the high schools of Overbrook Meadows. Leo’s sister, Mildred is the catalyst for this momentous game-changing event. She urges her brother to “do something” about de-segregating the high schools in Overbrook Meadows after the graduation of her daughter from I.M. Terrell High School, the only high school in the city where black students can attend. Kudos to author Keith Thomas Walker who competently meshes nonfiction historical events and people with fictional events and characters to create a story that reminds us that without the relentless and organized grassroots efforts of those in the struggle who did not achieve national headlines, the fight for Civil Rights would not have been as successful and rewarding.
The romantic element of the storyline is charming. Carla and Leo are believable characters who after receiving degrees return to their hometown to pursue their careers and serve as productive citizens in their community. I enjoyed their love story because you just knew that this couple’s passion would ignite into a love for each other that they could not deny. There is an iconic scene that depicts them standing together as a church is burning in the background. Their HEA will resonate with all romantics everywhere.
Not only is Keith Thomas Walker a writer of fiction, but he is also a talented poet. The poetry that introduces some of the chapters is captivating and serves to foreshadow the chapters’ episodes. It’s definitely an added bonus to the story.
ELECTION DAY is a strong story that features strong side characters (fictional and nonfictional) who are all instrumental in helping to move the storyline along. They range from the good Pastor Warren, to the prominent, Dr. Edward Guinn, to the segregationist, Mayor Holloway.
As I have stated before, this series gets better and better with each decade. Keith Thomas Walker’s ELECTION DAY does not disappoint. I enjoyed this story, as I am sure you will when you read it. It proves that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Pick up a copy of ELECTION DAY. I highly recommend it!
5th August 2018 | firstname.lastname@example.org