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Thursday, July 30, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Blue Hole Back Home

Having Southern roots and loving stories that are set in the South, I was anxious to read Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake, which is based on a true story.

Though Pisgah Ridge, North Carolina is fictional just like the characters, it was easy to envision such a town while reading this story. It was easy to get lost in this book and feel like I was right there, as the events were happening.

The author shares a haunting, heart wrenching story of a friendship ripped apart by racism, which is based on actual events that took place during her teenage years.

I had a lump in my throat while reading about Farsanna, the young girl from Sri Lanka who finds herself the center of controversy and prejudice and the small group of friends who fiercely try to protect her.

Publishers description:

"Maybe, back at the Hole, we were all fools–our whole mangy pack that cuaght one summer on fire and watched our world fall out from under our feet. Fools, dangerous fools."

The summer of 1979 was heavy not only with the humid Appalachian air, but also with the raw emotion brought on by a stranger in their midst. The new girl. The new girl with the deeply colored skin and the straight shiny ebony hair and the father who prayed on a rug facing east each morning. The new girl who changed the hearts, minds, and lives of everyone in the small, provincial mountain town, merely by accepting a ride one hot summer day to the local swimming hole.

Even the good Reverend Riggs is involved in applying pressure to the new family, by turning his head and not standing for what is right. Amongst other forms of intimidation, burning crosses are left to convey the Klan’s message. Eventually Farsanna and her family leave Pisgah for Washington D.C., breaking the hearts of those who love her and her family.

Even more heart wrenching for me, was discovering that Joy Jordon-Lake attempted to find her real life Sri Lankan friend many times, and so far has been unsuccessful. Joy stated that she could still dream and hope that by writing this book, maybe someone would hand it to the one who inspired the fictional Farsanna, and somehow they could reconnect.

Blue Hole Back Home is Joy Jordan-Lake’s fifth book. A Reader’s Guide is included in the back of the book, with ten questions.

To read an excerpt of this book, you can visit:

You can learn more about this author by visiting her website at:

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