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The historical significance of this story and its relevance today is stark It s uncomfortable because we know the racism that existed in the 1950 s that led up to the Civil Rights Movement and evenappalling that so much of the racism in the 1950 s and 1960 s is too recognizable today Sometimes acts of blatant racism are called teaching moments as did the graceful and articulate Valerie Jarrett, a top aid to former President Obama when this past week she was derided and denigrated in an u The historical significance of this story and its relevance today is stark It s uncomfortable because we know the racism that existed in the 1950 s that led up to the Civil Rights Movement and evenappalling that so much of the racism in the 1950 s and 1960 s is too recognizable today Sometimes acts of blatant racism are called teaching moments as did the graceful and articulate Valerie Jarrett, a top aid to former President Obama when this past week she was derided and denigrated in an ugly tweet by an ignorant tv star There have been other teachable moments recently in the news at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, at an Airbnb in California, or a common room of dorm at Yale Actually so manywhen you think of the young black men shot at a traffic stop or in their grandmother s backyard This list is long and the question becomes what will it take to learn This story provides teachable moments as well, but not in an in your face preachy way but by depicting characters whose beliefs and deeds rise above racism It s 1958 in a segregated Winston Salem, NC and we are introduced to three young people who are at a crossroads in their lives Tacker, a budding architect is sent home from Nigeria where he was working with a firm to design a high school He is sent home for mingling with Nigerians and interfering in customs Eventually through flashbacks, we discover his genuine love of the country and how much his friendships meant to him He takes over managing his fathers s grocery store until he can get his bearings Kate, a high school acquaintance is back home from college after her mother s death is unsure if she wants to be there While I wouldn t consider this a coming of age story, it is about these young people trying to find themselves Gaines, the young black man home from college to help a sick mother works for Tacker, is involved in the Civil Rights Movement This is a well written story and I really liked these characters from the start and was vested in what would happen to them as their connections grew The story moved a little too slowly but I have to admit that I was shocked in the end Definitely a book I d recommend Elaine Neil Orr is the daughter of missionaries and lived in Nigeria as well as Winston Salem, NC The following is an interesting interview with her that shed some light on her experiences in both places received an advanced copy of this book from Berkeley Publishing Group through NetGalley I think that the description of this book promised a lotthan the book delivered It s not a coming of age story unless you come of age when you re 25 and no lives collided here.The book is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, primarily in Winston Salem, North Carolina although some of the story involves flashbacks to the time that Tacker Hart spent in Nigeria working as an engineer on a project to build schools Tacker loved the time he spent in Nigeria and his descriptions of his time I think that the description of this book promised a lotthan the book delivered It s not a coming of age story unless you come of age when you re 25 and no lives collided here.The book is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, primarily in Winston Salem, North Carolina although some of the story involves flashbacks to the time that Tacker Hart spent in Nigeria working as an engineer on a project to build schools Tacker loved the time he spent in Nigeria and his descriptions of his time there and the people he met were some of my favorite parts of the book After vague accusations of his getting tangled up in the culture , Tacker was fired and sent back to his segregated hometown in disgrace He was changed by his experience in Africa and after his return he no longer turns a blind eye to the Negroes in his town This puts him at odds with seemingly all of the other citizens who are just fine with the existing whites only restrictions Tacker hires Gaines, a young Negro man who has dropped out of Fisk to care for his mother and little sister, to work in the Hart family s grocery store Gaines has the potential to be an interesting character, but unfortunately he makes only a brief appearance in the first half of the book and in the second half he exists only to introduce Tacker to sit ins and the civil rights movement Gaines is never developed as a person However, the real weak link in the book for me was Kate Monroe, Tacker s former schoolmate with whom he pretty much immediately falls in love I found Kate s presence in the book unnecessary If the author wanted to show the slow evolution of someone who initially supports the racist status quo, she could have used Tacker s parents Instead we get Kate and her really banal backstory about some letters her father wrote to her mother There s also Kate s should I or shouldn t I relationship with her long distance boyfriend, creating the dreaded love triangle I learned early in the book that I could skim through any chapter with Kate in it This is a serious story, but without any real grit to it, and you can see the ending coming There was also too much Kate I received a free copy of this book from the publisher This was a book that took me awhile to get into and some sections were so slow burn that it took some effort to push forward and continue reading, but I m glad I stuck with it because in the end I was rewarded with a good story and characters that are hard to forget Set in Winston Salem, North Carolina in the late 1950s early 1960s, the narrative revolves around 3 main characters Tacker Hart, a gifted engineer and all around popular boy hero whose life is transformed after returning from a tri This was a book that took me awhile to get into and some sections were so slow burn that it took some effort to push forward and continue reading, but I m glad I stuck with it because in the end I was rewarded with a good story and characters that are hard to forget Set in Winston Salem, North Carolina in the late 1950s early 1960s, the narrative revolves around 3 main characters Tacker Hart, a gifted engineer and all around popular boy hero whose life is transformed after returning from a trip to Nigeria Kate Monroe, a young college graduate dealing with the loss of both her parents when a family secret she discovers in a letter threatens to tear her already fragile world further apart and Gaines, a young African American man whose separate encounters with both Tacker and Kate change the courses of their lives forever The story is set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, only in its early stages here, yet so important in driving the course of the narrative forward The author Elaine Neil Orr did a great job blending the historical context of the social unrest at the time that triggered the Civil Rights movement with the fictional story of Tacker and Kate s complicated relationship and the difficult path they must take in order to find love I also like the way the author developed the characters in the story, especially Tacker, as we were given the opportunity to delve deep into his thoughts as he tried to reconcile his experience in Nigeria with what he was seeing in his own community back home in Winston Salem Gaines impact on him was profound, as was the friendship of Samuel, one of the young Nigerian men Tacker met on his assignment, and to be honest, I enjoyed reading about these friendshipsthan Tacker s at times conflicted love relationship with Kate Perhaps this is because I wasn t too fond of Kate due to her being so self absorbed most of the time which I did find a tad bit annoying in some scenes , but I think it also has to do with the story being written in a way where the reality of what was happening in society at the time and Tacker s place in it trumped the love story, which was puton the back burner I guess in a way, this was mostly Tacker s story and while Kate s role was important to the story as well, I felt the significance wasin her character reflecting the attitude of society at the time when it came to issues of race and equality and how that attitude differed so greatly from Tacker s This was my first time reading Elaine Neil Orr s work and I am definitely interested in readingof her books The writing was well done and though I felt some parts were a little overwritten, that didn t affect my enjoyment of the story at all There were also the themes of water and swimming that were huge parts of the book, though the author worked this into the story so well that I actually didn t realize the subtle references throughout the book until I was nearing the end My one complaint was that I sensed a certain level of emotional restraint in the telling of the story, reflectedsignificantly in some characters narratives Kate for example over others, and while this didn t detract a whole lot from the events or how they unfolded in the story itself, it did affect the emotional impact that a story like this one should could have had on its readers The biggest example of this was in the ending, which was unexpected and quite honestly a bit shocking , and I feel should have elicited a faremotional response, but the way it was written felt a bit glossed over With that said though, this was overall a thought provoking read, another book that, despite its setting in an earlier time period, is very much timely, especially given everything happening in our world currently Having grown up in the U.S studying and reading about the Civil Rights movement primarily in history books, I appreciate the fact that books like this one help put into perspective the real life impact of that history to ordinary lives one of the aspects I love most about historical fiction This one is definitely recommended Received ARC from Berkley Books via Penguin First to read program. Dear Elaine Neil Orr,Your book really touched me and I want to share it with the world The Characters Tacker Hart has come home disgraced, from Nigeria to Winston Salem He might be disgraced, but he did learn how to treat African Americans in an empathetic way while he was there Kate Monroe needs answers She goes on a quest to find them She is the love interest for Tacker They both encounter Gaines Townson, an African American, who believes that nonviolence is the answer Sometimes the int Dear Elaine Neil Orr,Your book really touched me and I want to share it with the world The Characters Tacker Hart has come home disgraced, from Nigeria to Winston Salem He might be disgraced, but he did learn how to treat African Americans in an empathetic way while he was there Kate Monroe needs answers She goes on a quest to find them She is the love interest for Tacker They both encounter Gaines Townson, an African American, who believes that nonviolence is the answer Sometimes the interaction among these three was not perfect, but you described them so well, and I loved them just the same.Swimming The story itself swims between what happened in Nigeria and what is happening in North Carolina And then there is the swimming poolLocation I met my husband in Charlotte and loved to go to Winston Salem to shop, dine and see the sites The Wachovia Building now Wells Fargo was a favorite.The WritingI especially loved these quotes both from Chapter 1 If working at Hart s as a teenager had instilled in Tacker a sense of democracy Meet every customer with respect, his father had said, though now Tacker could see that not everyone was actually included , football had taught him fair play, a concept also apparently defunct He Tacker figured himself a pilgrim out to slay the dragon of his failure Of course, I liked other quotes too, but I want to leave it to your new readers to find them on their own.Sadly, my library does not even have a copy of your wonderful book And my library branch is the Martin Luther King branch If they will accept it, I will give them my copy as a donation This book should be easily accessible to all.This is the first book you have authored that I have read Needless to say, it will not be my last.Sincerely, Celia Phillips5 shining stars Normally I try to write reviews as soon as I read a book but this one affected me to the point that I had to wait a few days and think about the book before I could review it It s about integration in Winston Salem NC in the early 60s Even though I didn t live in the South during that time period, I have lived in a town close to WS for 40 years and have heard stories about the sit ins at the Woolworth stores in Greensboro and WS This wonderful well written book gave those events a human persp Normally I try to write reviews as soon as I read a book but this one affected me to the point that I had to wait a few days and think about the book before I could review it It s about integration in Winston Salem NC in the early 60s Even though I didn t live in the South during that time period, I have lived in a town close to WS for 40 years and have heard stories about the sit ins at the Woolworth stores in Greensboro and WS This wonderful well written book gave those events a human perspective.This novel is about the lives of three people Tracker, a college graduate in architecture who spent 18 months in Nigeria on a special project While he was there he made friends with the people in town and grew to love African culture When he returned to NC, he started to question why black people didn t have the same rights why they couldn t order food at a lunch counter or swim in a public swimming pool His evolving views were not the norm for white people during this time period Gaines is a young black college student who works for Tracker Gaines is very involved in the sit in movement and the social unrest of the times Kate is a young woman who has just lost her mother and is unsure of what to do with herself She and Tracker had known each other in high school and when they meet again, they both want to get to know each other better Her views on racial issues reflected the attitudes of the white people during this time Their lives all change as they are looking for change both in their own lives and in society.This is a wonderful well written book and I encourage everyone to read it to get a better perspective of life during this time period and how it continues to reflect what is going on in the US today.Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review All opinions are my own Tacker Hart, a local football hero in his home town in North Carolina, heads off to Nigeria on assignment to help with plans for building a high school He is drawn to the people of Nigeria and the culture there Sadly, instead of being able to experience it as long as he would have liked, he is sent home in disgrace He takes on managing his father s grocery store and reconnects with Kate Monroe, who he only knew vaguely from school Kate s parents have died and some letters send her searching Tacker Hart, a local football hero in his home town in North Carolina, heads off to Nigeria on assignment to help with plans for building a high school He is drawn to the people of Nigeria and the culture there Sadly, instead of being able to experience it as long as he would have liked, he is sent home in disgrace He takes on managing his father s grocery store and reconnects with Kate Monroe, who he only knew vaguely from school Kate s parents have died and some letters send her searching for answers and the truth about her father Tacker encounters a young African American, Gaines Townson Later that same morning so does Kate These three form the nucleus of this story which starts in the late 1950s and moves into the 60s when America is undergoing the civil rights struggle and many are influenced by Martin Lither King s views of non violence The story intersperses incidents from Southern America with events from Nigeria that help to shape Tacker s outlook I found this an interesting read The pictures of Nigeria are portrayed wonderfully So is the unrest In America at the time It is a story of beliefs, convictions and relationships Sad to think that because people s skin is a different colour they are treated so horribly Historical fiction it may be, but at times it seems we have not progressed as far in this area as we would like to believe.The book is beautifully written with characters the reader cares about and an ending that I was not expecting Not a book to be rushed through, but one to savour and think about Another book my GR friends pointed me to Thanks It was worth reading |Download Pdf ☦ Swimming Between Worlds ⚇ From critically acclaimed writer Elaine Neil Orr, a Southern coming of age novel that sets three very different young people against the tumultuous years of the American Civil Rights movementThe lives of one young woman and two young men collide in a small neighborhood in Winston Salem, North CarolinaKate, a recent college graduate, is still reeling from the deaths of her beloved parents when the discovery of hidden letters forces her to re examine everything she knew about her family Tacker, a young engineering student and all around boy hero, has returned from a West African odyssey where he fell in love with the local culture but was sent home in shame Kate s and Tacker s stories come together when, on the same day and in different moments, they encounter a young African American man named Gaines The relationship that develops between the three is complicated, as each one searches for love, freedom, and new beginnings I received this Advance Reader Copy as a prize from Goodreads Giveaway Contest in 2017 The book is from Berkley, Penguin Random House I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wanted to leave a review for others to discover it I believe that this book is especially important and timely not only for this month being February s Black History Month, but also for the racial inequality and tension that our nation is still experiencing in modern history.As a refugee from Vietnam since 1975, I appreciate l I received this Advance Reader Copy as a prize from Goodreads Giveaway Contest in 2017 The book is from Berkley, Penguin Random House I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wanted to leave a review for others to discover it I believe that this book is especially important and timely not only for this month being February s Black History Month, but also for the racial inequality and tension that our nation is still experiencing in modern history.As a refugee from Vietnam since 1975, I appreciate learning about the US Civil Rights history and movement in this historical fictional with the author s beautiful portrayals of characters and geographic surrounding, the socio political turmoils, and personal vignettes of those involved in this struggle This is a thought provoking coming of age and a real life complex love story of two main characters during the civil rights struggles in the US I will miss them sorely now that I finished the book Thanks to the author who meticulously crafting the relatable and complicated emotions as the characters worked into their adulthood and finding their voice and place in their world It s visceral yet poetic, and a poignant story as she wove the inner conflicts, dreams, and fears for each of the main characters Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre as I get glimpses into history without the dreadfully dried history books and classes.It s an enjoyable and timely read for February Black History Month as well as our current racial inequality and tension I learned a lot of the history and highly recommend this book Tacker is an engineering student who graduated and went to work with a notable engineering firm in Nigeria, Africa A man who fully embraces every thing he did and does, he wound up being fired and sent back to America His fault Getting too close to the native Nigerians, embracing their culture, innocently embracing religious and other rituals, and supposedly consorting in a physical relationship with a Nigerian Shades of Jim Crow extending its tentacles overseas Tacker comes back to his hom Tacker is an engineering student who graduated and went to work with a notable engineering firm in Nigeria, Africa A man who fully embraces every thing he did and does, he wound up being fired and sent back to America His fault Getting too close to the native Nigerians, embracing their culture, innocently embracing religious and other rituals, and supposedly consorting in a physical relationship with a Nigerian Shades of Jim Crow extending its tentacles overseas Tacker comes back to his home town, embarrassed, confused and even angry about his failed career His family really don t know what happened but stand by Tacker and eventually offer him management of the family s small grocery store in Winston Salem, North Carolina While working, Tacker meets Kate Monroe, a gal is who recovering from the death of her parents and who then discovers the momentous secret of her parents marriage that shocks her to bits The trauma is so deep and harsh that she is not sure she can ever trust anyone again, and that includes Tacker who seems to have his own secrets.The plot picks up with the entrance of an African American, Gaines Townson He is accepted to work at the grocery store where he does his best to work hard and remain unnoticed But Gaines is part of the new wage of rebellion, willing to risk arrest and even death for trying to break the Jim Crow laws Tacker actually accompanies him on one of these potentially volatile scenes in which Gaines dares to sit at a whites only luncheon counter On and on these scenarios progress with eventual success but also accompanied by violence and death.How to these characters develop One could call this a coming of age novel but the characters are only coming of age with the recognition and ownership of vital truths about humans and how they treat each other It s all about love, hate, loyalty and betrayal It s an American historical novel which leaves as many questions as answers in the reader s mind.Highly recommended historical fiction A well told tale set in the late 50s and very early 60s filled with the growing awareness of the ugliness of racism in North Carolina I was drawn in by the main characters both white Tacker Hart, just back from a troubled stay in Nigeria, and Kate Monroe, still trying to make sense of the death of her father These two wounded souls are drawn to each other as they try to navigate changing times and expectations, trying to do what they can for the civil rights cause Compelling and memorable.