The Light Always Breaks – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Light Always Breaks

Author:- Angela Jackson Brown

No. of pages:- 383 pages

Date published:- will be published on 5th July 2022

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Plot:- 3/4

Writing:- 2/5

Overall:- 2.5/5

As 1947 opens, Eva Cardon is the twenty-four-year-old owner of Washington, D.C.’s, most famous Black-owned restaurant. When her path crosses with Courtland, a handsome white senator from Georgia, both find themselves drawn to one another—but the danger of a relationship between a Black woman and a white man from the South could destroy them and everything they’ve worked for.

Few women own upscale restaurants in civil rights era Washington, D.C. Fewer still are twenty-four, Black, and wildly successful. But Eva Cardon is unwilling to serve only the wealthiest movers and shakers, and she plans to open a diner that offers Southern comfort to the working class.

A war hero and one of Georgia’s native sons, Courtland Hardiman Kingsley IV is a junior senator with great ambitions for his time in D.C. But while his father is determined to see Courtland on a path to the White House, the young senator wants to use his office to make a difference in people’s lives, regardless of political consequences.

When equal-rights activism throws Eva and Courtland into each other’s paths, they can’t fight the attraction they feel, no matter how much it complicates their dreams. For Eva, falling in love with a white Southerner is all but unforgivable—and undesirable. Her mother and grandmother fell in love with white men, and their families paid the price. Courtland is already under pressure for his liberal ideals, and his family has a line of smiling debutantes waiting for him on every visit. If his father found out about Eva, he’s not sure he’d be welcome home again.

Surrounded by the disapproval of their families and the scorn of the public, Eva and Courtland must decide if the values they hold most dear—including love—are worth the loss of their dreams . . . and everything else.

This was in my opinion an OK books–not really good but not bad either.

The story is set in the beginning of 1947 with Eva Cordon opening an all successful Black restaurant in Washington DC. She meets a white man, Courtland who is a senator from Georgia. This is the period when the union between the colored and white people are forbidden. They both believe in equal rights and civil rights movement and eventually, they both start falling in love.

Although I liked the plot, the first few chapters were utter boring that I almost DNF the book. The story is told from the perspectives of Eva and Courtland so it was a bit interesting to know about their life in their own communities–Eva in the Black community and Courtland in the wealthy southern white community where he is expected to marry a white privileged woman from a wealthy family. The ending part is the part where I finally immersed into the story and although I was a bit sad of what really happened to Courtland, the ending wasn’t as bad as I thought it would become. Bad side of the book is too much dialogue which made me bored at some point, there were too much of repetition though the plot was a good one.

Overall, it was an OK historical novel–worth 2.5 stars

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Angela Jackson-Brown is an award-winning writer, poet and playwright who teaches Creative Writing, English and African American Studies at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is also a member of the graduate faculty of the School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.

She is a graduate of Troy University, Auburn University and the Spalding low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing. She has published her short fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and poetry in journals like The Louisville Journal and the Appalachian Review.

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