Book: The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips
Genre: Fiction (Historical)
Edition: Kindle E-Book
I don’t know where to start with this book!
It’s set in 1950s Georgia where Rozelle (Rosie) Quinn is living in extreme poverty with her ten children. She’s a Black woman who’s light enough to pass for white; all of her children are varying shades of light skin, expect for Tangy Mae–she’s the darkest (and smartest) of the children. Rosie dislikes Tangy’s dark skin and she thinks she’s lazy because she would rather get her high school diploma instead of dropping out to find work.
Tangy Mae tells the story of her siblings and the struggles they face at the hands of racism in the south (segregation, lynchings, and the Civil Rights Movement is the backdrop) and their mother Rosie, who is crazy. When I tell you she’s crazy, I mean it! She physically, psychologically, and emotionally abuses her children at the drop of a dime. I was constantly questioning her mental state.
I like how the author showed how children of an abusive, mentally unstable parent wrestle with hating their parent and wishing to get away from them, but also needing and loving them. I also liked that she showed how Rosie’s parenting reflected in how some of the Quinn children (specifically the older ones: Mushy, Harvey, Martha Jean, and Tarabelle) handled their own problems and treated their spouses.
I give this 4.5 star. I felt every emotion while reading this and I find myself still thinking about the Quinn children, as if they are real. I could not give it 5 stars because I didn’t like what happened with Edna and Tarabelle (two of the Quinn children) towards the end of the book.
This book definitely deserved a sequel!
Note: I also posted this review on Goodreads.