Review: In My Father's House

In My Father's HouseIn My Father's House
by Ernest J. Gaines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In My Father's House / 0-679-72791-4

In this incredible novel, Gaines delves into the pain of divided loyalties and the guilt of unfulfilled promises.

When a local leader for black rights is confronted by the arrival of the son he has never known, he must choose whether to stand by the community he knows and loves or the son that he abandoned. The young man is locked up by the police and the civil rights leader is told in no uncertain terms that the only way to save his son is to cancel an upcoming demonstration.

A choice that initially seems easy immediately delves into more complex themes of guilt and resentment. The fact that neither son nor community appreciates the difficulty of his choice only serves to heighten his pain and sense of being trapped. The final decision weighs heavily on his heart: will he fight for the community, capitulate for the son, or flee the entire messy situation? There are never any easy answers provided to the question posed: "To whom do you owe the most loyalty?"

~ Ana Mardoll

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