Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray

I remember the first time I read a novel that impacted me. (I had always been an avid romance reader.) I was a freshman at New York University taking pre-requisite classes. The professor had assigned us to read Mama by Terry McMillan. I had never heard of this author but I remember my eyes widening that I had been assigned to read something fun by a black author--in college! 
The second time it was Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I had been hired as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College and this was one of the required reads. What stood out to me was that there were some readers who never would have selected these phenomenal literary works had they not been assigned in college.
I have now found a masterpiece that I believe EVERY campus, church group, book club should read: Stand Your Ground, coming June 30, 2015.


From the #1 Essence bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray comes Stand Your Ground, a new novel about two women who are faced with the same tragedy.
A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?
Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?
Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?

I was blessed to receive an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. It was all that I thought it would be AND then some. 

Here is my review:
Victoria Christopher Murray is the mistress of first lines. From the very first sentence to the last I was drawn into the story of two women: Janice and Meredith. Two women from different worlds who share one thing in common: death. With artful descriptions, Victoria put me inside their hearts and minds. I did not just enjoy this read, I lived it. I lived every scene on BOTH sides! I finished it in hours. I had to. When I read the last line, I knew that I had been schooled. I had seen the impact of Stand Your Ground laws and I knew this book would stay with me, always. There is forgiveness, love, twists, turns but above all: Truth. Real. Insightful. Unadulterated and told without apology. A must read.

I had so so many to choose from but this pivotal MOMENT so eloquently described is my absolute favorite from Stand Your Ground.

"We weren’t friends. But we were something. We were two women. Two mothers. One with a son and one without. We were two people whose lives were forever linked and forever changed. We were Janice Johnson and Meredith Spencer. Forever hopelessly connected." Quoted with permission from Stand Your Ground.

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