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The Weight of a Pearl based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I just finished another Walker Smith novel, "The Weight of a Pearl," and once again, found myself caught up in the period of time the book encompasses and how much of it relates to issues we still deal with today. Pearl, my favorite hero in the book, maneuvers through the trials of growing up in 1930s urban Chicago along with her troubled brother, Ronnie, and survives many of the perils familiar with growing up black, poor and not much to hope for. One of the author's key elements that I've found is that in addition to being absorbed in the in depth slice-of-life story, I learned about Americans, called The Abraham Lincoln Brigade, who fought in the Spanish Civil War against the orders of the American government during the 30s. Many black people felt compelled to join the fight as they experienced many similar struggles of the Spanish people. This is some of the little know history Walker Smith often writes about. I came away from this book with new, useful information! Walker Smith weaves you through urban Chicago, Spain and winding up in Harlem, New York. After returning from the war in Spain, trumpet player, Doc Calhoun, former Abraham Lincoln Brigade soldier, returns home to fight another war. Heroin use runs rampant in Harlem and for his part in the Spanish Civil War, the House Un-American Activities Committee shadows him. Pearl, now a jazz singer with struggles of her own and Walker's reminder of how taboo issues, such as homosexuality were looked upon. After finishing this book, I felt as though I had intimately come to know Pearl, Doc, Ronnie and a time gone by in a personal way. I felt connected.