In 1971 China Redd is waiting to die. But first she has a story to tell, a story that “claws at her throat like an untreated virus.”
The story is about her ancestors, and in particular about a blue-eyed slave named Cally, her husband Tom, and a pair of stolen earrings that are passed down from generation to generation, becoming a talisman for the survival of China’s family, and for the demise of the white family that once benefited from her ancestor’s free labor.
For China the past is always present, and if she has nothing else from half a decade of work in a house where nothing was her own, she has this story.
“Fine storytelling.” Booklist
“…a fascinating, carefully drawn portrait of life across five generations, full of personality and told with genuine vigor.” Kirkus Reviews
“Employing simple prose that possesses a rhythmic, repetitive, almost biblical cadence, Peacock retells and revises these multigenerational stories in a fascinating palimpsest.”
The New York Times Book Review