ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA - Celeste . Norfleet
Harper Collins/Amistad Press
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A+
REVIEW: Talented author, Celeste O. Norfleet takes her readers on a journey into the Deep South during one of the most turbulent times in this nation’s history. ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA chronicles a road trip from New York to Atlanta in 1968 by four young African Americans who are headed back to college. The protagonist, Zelda Livingston, her two friends, Veronica Cook and Daphne Brooks, and a young man assigned to protect them, Daniel Johnson, travel the highways and by-ways to Atlanta by car and look forward to their last year at their respective schools, the famed Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, respectively. Their story quickly escalates into a journey that tests their fortitude and maturity, and eventually threatens their lives.
Make no mistake; this book renders an historical account of this country during the racial divide promoted by the Jim Crow Era, the period of the bloody Civil Rights protests, the disastrous Vietnam War, and the dark days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The author accurately and painstakingly correlates actual historical events of that era to correlate with plot points of the storyline. As they travel deeper into the South, Zelda, Daphne, Veronica, and Daniel are confronted by prejudice, malice, discrimination, and ignorance by southern whites, be they poor, working-class, or public servants. Their descension into the South parallels a descent into hell. ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA is a riveting story that will resonate with your sense of humaneness long after you read the last page.
Zelda has a striking back story that has her feeling “alone and left behind”. Memories of her late father, Owen Livingston, attorney and freedom fighter, play a large role in how she views the world and her place in it. Her classmates, Veronica and Daphne, are likewise, shaped by their backstories that include lineage, wealth and family disfunction. Daniel, a former army man, comes to the ladies’ rescue more than once during their fateful trip. His role is crucial to the storyline as you will discover. There is a memorable and eclectic array of side characters who populate this story and are instrumental in moving the storyline along. The Epilogue is astounding. It begins with these words, “We survived.”
ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA is an outstanding story of a period in this country’s history that never gets old. Author Celeste O. Norfleet does an exceptional job in recounting that time through this work of Historical Fiction. I highly recommend this novel.
17th June 2019 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Award of Excellence!