No Shadow of Turning
by Dr. Joyce D. Hightower
WestBow Press

"This is very fitting, he thought. The only reason I’m here is to work. It’s not home unless my family’s here."

Marshall Anderson is a man whose life was forever changed at a young age when he witnessed a drunk driver kill his parents in the street. Though he struggles with his place in life and dealing with such a tremendous loss, Marshall presses on, moving forward into college at the University of Western California and driven by a promise made to his grandfather about visiting the land of his ancestors in Africa. As Marshall grows and becomes more comfortable with his circumstances, he must still deal with challenges as he moves between the United States and Africa. Facing racial tensions, personal tragedies, and very real dangers to his life, Marshall will discover a greater sense of identity both within himself and in the context of his ancestry, as well as finding true companionship.

Much of this story is told through dialogue between the characters rather than scenic descriptions or character actions. The end result is something that could be easily adapted into a play or film, relying on the personal interactions between Marshall and the people in his life to drive the story forward. The themes of cultural disconnection, isolation, and racial tension ring true-to-life during the story’s early backdrop of the 60s and 70s in America but also are identifiable to readers today. The author’s life experiences in both California and two African countries mirror Marshall’s and help to bring those cultures and lifestyles off the page and into the reader’s mind. Though the book can be emotionally challenging and raw at times, the characters bring a lot of heart and concern to each other through both good and bad times, leading to a piece of emotional drama that is well worth the time spent reading it.

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