Omens hang heavy over the life of Moses Thomas, a young man coming of age at the turn of the 20th century in Wilmington, North Carolina. For his beloved grandmother, former slave and family storyteller Boo Nanny, the mobbing crows signal a return to hate against the African-American majority, who are gaining the realization of their rights through hard work, learning, and alliances with progressive Republicans. But Moses’ father, a city alderman who works on the state’s daily newspaper, sees the shifting winds blowing towards opportunity for his family.
This portrait of Moses and his family over a crucial summer in their lives is by turns playful, heartrending, and powerful. Simple pleasures like competing to win a bicycle or finding a pirate hideout become lanced by racism. Envy and hatred turn to madness, but the family’s island of decency expands and stays firm in its courage. As Moses faces the hard truths along with his last summer of light and play, Crow’s readers experience an extraordinary novel of depth, beauty, and soul. Highly recommended.