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The Darkest Child
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Rozelle Quinn is so fair-skinned that she can pass for white. Her ten children are mostly light, too. Everyone in her small Georgia town knows that they all have different fathers. She favours her light children, but it is Tangy Mae, the darkest of them all, who is the brightest and the only one desperate to get an education. But her mother has other plans for her. She wants thirteen-year-old Tangy Mae to take over her jobs: spending her days cleaning houses for whites, and nights servicing men, black and white, at the infamous 'Farmhouse'. Rozelle's children are the only thing in her life she has control over, and she is not a woman whose commands can be easily ignored. She is a creature of moods, possessive of all her children, demanding of them complete loyalty and obedience. The Darkest Child shows us a world misshapen by years of oppression in which family is powerful yet offers little kindness or comfort. It shows a world in which attitudes of prejudice have been adopted by its victims. The struggle for those with darker skin, like Tangy Mae, has become not only against outsiders, but against their own kin.
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About the Author

Delores Phillips was born in Georgia. She is a graduate of Cleveland State University and works as a nurse in a facility for abused women and children in Cleveland. This is her first novel.

Reviews

'Filled with grand plot events and clearly identifiable villains and victims ... lush with detail and captivating with its story of racial tension and family violence.' Washington Post Book World 'Phillips's depiction of white racism and violence...give this work a depth and dimension not often characteristic of a first novel. Strongly recommended.' Library Journal (starred review) 'Using a large cast of powerfully drawn characters, Phillips captures life in a town that serves as a microcosm of a world on the brink of change.' Publishers Weekly

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