Moonrise over New Jessup

Hachette Audio. Jan. 2023. 10:47 hrs. ISBN 9781649041319. $27.99. F
Minnicks’s debut, the 2021 winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, follows Alice Young, who, in 1957, flees her home in segregated rural Alabama, hoping to join her sister in Chicago. She alights at a rest stop in New Jessup, AL, and is stunned to find that it is an all-Black community. Curious, she stays. The people of New Jessup have no interest in integrating with the white community in Jessup. They want to become a separate municipality—electing their own town council, collecting their own taxes, and running their own schools. Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, a secret leader of the National Negro Advancement Society. This group, headquartered in Washington, DC, promotes separation over racial integration. Alice soon finds she must navigate the town’s politics and walk a fine line between conflicting opinions. Narrator Karen Chilton skillfully uses Alice’s voice to carry the story, capturing the nuances of Alice’s emotions and the conviction of her beliefs.
VERDICT Fans of historical fiction will find much to love in this book, which offers a different perspective on desegregation at the dawn of the civil rights era.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing