Deborah Johnson The Air Between Us: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780061255571

The Air Between Us: A Novel

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9780061255571: The Air Between Us: A Novel

Revere, Mississippi, with its population of "20,000 and sinking" is not unlike most Southern towns in the sixties. Black people live on one side of town and whites live on the other. The two rarely mix, or so everyone believes. But the truth is brought to the forefront when Billy Ray Puckett, a white man wounded while hunting, shows up at the segregated Doctors Hospital. No one thinks much of his death—just a typical hunting accident—until the sheriff orders an investigation.

Suddenly the connections between whites and blacks are revealed to be deeper than anyone expected, which makes the town's struggle with integration that much more complicated. Dr. Cooper Connelly, who hails from a prominent white family, takes an unexpectedly progressive view toward school integration; while the esteemed Dr. Reese Jackson, so prominent he has garnered an Ebony profile, tries to stay above the fray. With fully realized characters and a mystery that will keep readers turning pages until the end, The Air Between Us is a heart-filled, endearing tale.

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About the Author:

Deborah Johnson now lives and works in Columbus, Mississippi, after residing for many years in Italy.

From Publishers Weekly:

In Johnson's vivid debut, Revere, Miss., is a 1966 small town teetering on the brink of integration. Willie B. Tate Jr., a 10-year-old black boy known as Critter, drives poor white man Billy Ray Puckett to the whites-only emergency room after Billy Ray has a hunting accident. Caught up in the middle of the fallout after Billy Ray's unexpected death is Dr. Cooper Connelly, a prominent white doctor who serves on the school board and has controversial prointegration views. Cooper is a man with secrets, including why he keeps company with Madame Melba Obrensky, a raceless woman with a mysterious past who manages to keep herself well-apprised of all sides of the town's doings. Melba happens to be the next-door neighbor of Dr. Reese Jackson, a respected black physician who has managed to cross the race barrier and establish his practice on Main Street. As the heat of the school board meetings about integration and of the investigation into Billy Ray's death increase, the atmosphere becomes explosive. Johnson tries to squeeze too much out of the limited plot, but compelling character studies keep pages turning.
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