What Mother Never Told Me
Kimani, Mar 1 2010, $14.95
Wanting to become a professional singer, Cora leaves her hometown Rudell, Mississippi for Chicago. There she obtains work for an affluent Caucasian family. However, their son rapes her so Cora fled for Rudell unaware she is pregnant.
In Rudell, she marries her childhood sweetheart David, but hell breaks out when their offspring is white. That girl Emma learned to pass as white to gain acceptance. In New York, she marries a Caucasian soldier, Michael who soon afterward is deployed overseas. Emma gives birth to a baby with black features. She sends her daughter Parris to Mississippi to be raised by her mom while fleeing for Europe. However, as an adult, her dying grandma informs Parris that her mom lives so she travels with her Nick to France in search of her biological mother.
Though the saga of an African-American passing as white has been done many times, What Mother Never Told Me is a fascinating tale that focuses mostly on the third generation’s search once she knows her “white” mom is alive. The cast is three dimensional as the three generations seem genuine especially their motives even if a reader disagrees with choices. Well written, the character driven story line grips the audience as Emma seeks her mom and she hopes her dad too.