By: Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
Publisher: Strategic Book Group
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 2011
Angela Jones goes by the name of Ange, and she is a sixteen-year-old girl whose life, thus far, reads like a horror novel.
At thirteen years of age Ange had to have an abortion because of a date rape incident. In addition to that dreadful moment in her life, Ange’s mother also had a stroke, which Ange was blamed for because family members said that the abortion situation was what put Mom over the edge.
Ange has been trying to change her life. She goes to school, and she has transformed her ‘look’ into a Goth image that finally makes her feel beautiful. But the hard part is that Ange has to take care of her Mom who is currently paralyzed on one side. Her father is dead, and even though they have a “caregiver” for Mom, Ange spends a great deal of time chasing a new caregiver down, and filling in with the bathing, feeding, and all other duties.
What Ange is also up against is the fact that, at sixteen, she now finds herself pregnant again by her twenty-three-year-old political activist boyfriend, Reuben. Ange has power and strength, and acts more like a forty-year-old when it comes to the trials and tribulations of life. Therefore, even though her boyfriend doesn’t necessarily agree, Ange gets another abortion.
It comes as no great shock, given Ange’s situation thus far, that she holds a true concern for the way life is going for her generation, and the horrors they will have to deal with. Everything from drugs, to politics, to war offers an extremely bleak outlook for Ange’s age group, and she intends to have her voice heard.
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother and her aunt, Ange becomes a true feminist and political activist, heading to Washington, D.C. to participate in a non-violent ‘blockade and occupation’ of the U.S. Capitol. As her bad luck continues, Ange is arrested and ends up ‘cooling her heels’ in a juvenile detention facility, where she meets others and makes friends, as well as works with the ACLU to change her life for the better.
There are many key points taught in this novel - the most important one being the incredible amount of errors that this country is making. The fact that the U.S. is turning to the “dark side” and does need to change its ways before our children are caught in a maelstrom of violence and despair, rings through loud and clear. The author has a powerful voice, yet the unfortunate point for this story is the extremely “cold” presentation of the plot. In almost every scene - from the mother and daughter relationship, to the abortion issues, to the political activism - everything is written almost ‘medically,’ and allows very little “soul” to shine through.
Quill Says: For anyone interested in politics, environmental issues, feminism, and the next generation, this is a good read. All it needs is heart.