The Revisioners

Written by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton has crafted an unforgettable story of strong women through multiple generations of one African American family in Louisiana. The chapters switch from narrator to narrator starting with a single mom, Ava Jackson, who is desperate to get her son, King, out of the ´hood and into a better environment. She moves in with her wealthy white grandmother, Martha, to a stately New Orleans mansion. But Martha’s mind keeps reverting to the past, giving hints to stories of unspeakable violence. Ava’s mother, Gladys, fears that Ava has made an unwise choice moving in with Martha, and since Gladys has inherited ‘the sight’ from her great-grandmother Josephine, Gladys keeps getting visions that also hint at the violence of long ago.

The final narrator is Josephine, who is living as a slave on the Wildwood Plantation, west of New Orleans, in the year 1855. Her parents belong to a group who call themselves revisioners, and whose gift of sight encourages the band to escape the bonds of slavery. By the end of the novel, all of the memories of the generations are brought together in a stunning revelation and conclusion.

This novel has unforgettable characters and settings coupled with a tightly woven plot. I could not put it down and read it over again. A great read.