A gripping and evocative look at identity, belonging and the quest to resolve both, particularly when in conflict with society’s expectations.
Stella and Desiree are identical twins, black by heritage yet so light-skinned they could pass for white, a possibility that holds promise in the racially explosive nineteen-sixties and seventies of their youth. Living in a tiny black southern town that prides itself on the tone of the skin color of its inhabitants, the community segregates people, including its own, into an infinite set of classes, including, but not limited to : cardboard-colored, jet-black, blue-black, beige, caramelized deep-brown, pecan-colored, and golden-brown.
As each girl faces her own secrets, trials and reckonings, the author explores the aching sadness of the dispossessed, and the world we create for those we see as ‘different’ – as we struggle, each of us, successfully or not, to learn to embrace and cherish the very uniqueness that defines us.
A thoughtful, tender, heartfelt look at race, gender, community, family, and love, and the role each plays in holding us whole, in a mixed-up world where corrosive fracturing may seem inevitable.