THE VIEW FROM HERE a novel by
|Brian Keith Jackson makes an astounding debut with a heart-wrenching novel of black family life in the rural South. In the tradition of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, THE VIEW FROM HERE surges with raw emotional power and deeply felt truth. At its center is Anna Anderson Thomas, a gentle, hardworking wife and mother facing a challenge that could destroy the family she's fought so hard to keep together.|
THE VIEW FROM HERE... Set in an environment of casual prejudice and commonplace poverty, this remarkable novel opens with one of Anna's rambling, poignant letters - missives she can never mail - to Ida Mae Ramsey, her best friend since childhood. It has been too many years since they sat together dangling their legs near the soft waters of the creek, where Ida Mae spiked Anna's lemonade. Desperate to escape the trap of marriage and children and find an independent life, Ida Mae packed up and headed north, flitting from job to job, city to city, her infrequent letters arriving with no return address. Anna stayed home and married Joseph Henry Thomas, her beloved J.T., raising her five boys and stepping softly around her husband's vast silences.
Now Anna is pregnant again - a girl, this time, she is sure - a girl J.T. says they can't afford to keep. As spring swells inexorably toward summer, Anna misses Ida Mae's comfort and support almost more than she can bear. With remarkable insight and compassion, THE VIEW FROM HERE illuminates the universal, unspoken bonds - so strong, yet so easily damaged - that pulse through families, and the twisted skeins of memory and desire that linger only in our most secret hearts.
A bold and gifted writer, Brian Keith Jackson brings Anna's world to life with such compelling immediacy that we feel the cooling mist of rain on the porch, smell the honeysuckle of long ago church picnics, and share her yearning for Ida Mae's return as if it were our own. At once remarkably subtle and indelibly passionate, narrated by the omniscient voice of Anna's unborn child, and seasoned with earthy, sometimes raucously funny dialogue, THE VIEW FROM HERE moves toward two dramatically different encounters that shock and heal, forever bound in irony, in a novel no reader will soon forget.