The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.
Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.
When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.
HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live. Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.
Not many books touch me with so many emotions they way this book has, and boy oh boy, this book sure touched me to no end! I knew it would as soon as I started reading it. Yes, this book will pull you right into it as soon as you start it.
This book takes place in Forest Town, Arkansas, in 1967, in the deep south where segregation was very well known for being so strong, rules for the 'whites' and 'coloreds', and the unwritten rules as well, were followed as much to a "T" as you could, but even then, that did not ensure your safety. Go outside of those boundaries, and watch out!
Alison tells us about her town she lives in and what goes on. She tells us about the typical things we have heard, seen, and know about from our textbooks in school, what we've seen on TV and in the movies, and in many photos, such as signs that state which separate water fountains were for 'the blacks' and which ones were for 'the whites', even separate bathrooms, too. Different doorways for the different people, and many more things similar to this were very strong in this area. The depth of this was hitting Alison much more strongly than ever before.
Alison, or Pixie, as she is also called, is our 18 year old caucasian protagonist. Her heart would be ripped to shreds, and she knew it would be too, the more she learned about the reality of her hometown. I don't think she was fully aware or prepared for the extent to which it was when she first finds a dead black man beat up and left for dead in the side of a river. Then, falling in love, but not with her High School Sweetheart Jimmy Lee, but an African American man named Jackson. Here she is supposed to love and marry Jimmy Lee, but . . . When Alison does fall in love, and when it's 'who' she falls in love with that tears her heart apart. It tore my heart apart. We ALL have the same things inside and out, feel the same things, and there is NO difference except for our 'looks'. Looks should NEVER be so important to impact society as it has over the centuries.
It's a crying shame, literally, to know that human beings intentionally treated other human beings in such a disgusting manner. Why did this happen? No logical reason but that it could be done, and it was done. The sick people in power here were able to enforce it, too. (Not role models like they should have been, or that I 'hope' are today.)
Alison knows she cannot continue on with a relationship with this man . . . unless . . . you see, it's forbidden during the 1960's when things were so segregated, especially in the deep south. So sad to look back at how everyone was treated. Completely wrong.
Melissa Foster has once again proven herself to us with the many diverse books she has written that she is a master at storytelling. This book is no different. Melissa Foster did a wonderful job of painting a picture of this era to perfection. The characters are alive, full of feeling, secrets, and things to sweep under the rug to trying to hide them. She is able to capture all of this to a "T" with words. She made us feel as if we were living right there, alongside and a part of the character of Alison as she came of age and knowledge.
I highly recommend this book be read by all.
I received a copy of this as an ARC from the author for review purposes, and I thank Melissa VERY much! Thank you, Melissa!
See below for MORE information about the Author!
Have No Shame (When civil rights and forbidden love collide) by +Melissa Foster
Print Book: $10.89
Ebook: $ 2.99 - This entire link takes you directly to the ebook
When civil rights and forbidden love collide
Melissa welcomes the opportunity to chat with book clubs and other reading groups.