Mockingbird Summer, a review by Di

posted in: 5 star read, Di | 0

Lynda Rutledge

Lake Union Publishing
January 30, 2023
303 pages

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This book is about many things. It’s a coming-of-age book. It’s about small-town life in Texas. It’s about racial tensions in the South in the 1960s. It’s about a dog named Roy Rogers (Roy for short ) who can intuit that when there is something in the air. All of these themes intertwine.

Corky (real name Kathryn) is our 13-year-old main character. She had no idea that racism existed until she wanted her friend, America, to join the girls’ softball team. America is of Haitian descent. This sets off a series of events that cause Corky to realize that there is a “colour line” that is hard to cross. Corky is fighting her idealism against reality and racism.

At times it is painful to remember how divided the country was between black and white. These were the days of the lunch counter sit-ins. Even though society has made progress, there is still a long way to go.

The story is full of interesting characters. Some weren’t likeable but I believe that they are realistically depicted. Of course, Corky was my favourite. She is so full of questions, she wants to know and understand how the world operates. And, Roy Rogers, the dog, managed to get himself involved in everything. He is lovable.

I love the depiction of life in the small town, racism aside. I love the idea of a soda fountain in the drugstore, dogs can roam around at will (I realize it’s not safe), customers coming to the lunch counter with the same order every day, local girls’ baseball. It was a much different time.

This is a very satisfying read. I appreciate the Epilogue at the end of the book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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