Monday, October 21, 2013

Singing In The Comeback Choir, by Bebe Moore Campbell

This book told a story that has been re-enacted many times throughout many cultures. The main character, Maxine, a high-powered television producer, takes time off from her job to help her grandmother, who is recovering from a small stroke. Grandmother, Lindy, had been a singer most of her life, but now seems content to live in a decaying neighborhood, allowing herself to also fall into disrepair, both physically and emotionally.

Maxine flies from her home in Los Angeles to her grandmother's home in Philadelphia, intending to convince her to move into a care facility. Instead, little by little she manages not only to revive her grandmother's spirits, but those of an entire neighborhood, simply by cleaning up.

As a genre, I didn't notice anything particularly different from our own Caucasian culture. The characters seemed to perpetuate a stereotype that, if a white person were to do it, would likely land one in court. Instead, the author uses the stereotypes to paint a picture of a neighborhood, one all too familiar to city-dwellers who have watched "good" areas become uninhabitable due to crack houses and filthy conditions that no one seems willing to address.

It ends on a positive note, however (pun not intended): Lindy returns to singing, the neighborhood improves, and the reader is left feeling empowered that if one is willing to DO THE WORK, entropy can be averted, resulting in more pleasant living conditions for all concerned.

Reviewed by a staff member, First Regional Library

View or Place on Hold in Library Catalog


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