Newland, Courttia

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A River Called Time

Newland’s (The Gospel According to Cane) premise and his alternative world where Africa was not colonized by Europe are intriguing, however the plot is slow going and never quite reaches the potential teased from the beginning. Newland’s writing is stylish but tends to be overly descriptive, making the explanation of Markriss’s travels to parallel universes confusing and hard to follow. Markriss is a difficult protagonist to connect with, only adding to the disjointed feel of the book. Clearly a missed opportunity on the author’s part. Library collections should pass on this one.

The Gospel According to Cane

Newland's prose is beautiful. His novel—part homecoming narrative in the vein of Toni Morrison's Beloved and part haunting tale of loss similar to Ernest Gaines's In My Father's House—will appeal to all lovers of literary fiction.

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