by James Baldwin
One Book, One Chicago selection (not mine)
Gosh, I really don't know what to say. I read this book a few years ago when it was named one of the top 100 novels written in the English language, or some such nonsense. I remembered nothing about it.
This is the story of one day in the life of John Grimes: the day that the 14-year-old is saved. And while he is being saved in the storefront church, the reader learns the stories of John's mother (Elizabeth), stepfather (Gabriel), and aunt (Florence). Each adult travelled from the south to the north (currently living in Harlem), and each adult harbors their own dirty little secrets. Of course, as a preacher, Gabriel's secrets are all the more sordid.
I found it difficult to read this novel. It was hard to get interested in the characters or plot (which is basically nonexistent). I didn't identify with anything in this novel, and I'm looking forward to hearing the reactions of the members of my book discussion group.