TITLE: The Air Between Us
AUTHOR: Deborah Johnson
As I often end up doing, I read this book after the the author's second book set in the small town of Revere, Mississippi. That one, The Secret of Magic, was set in the 1940s, just after World War II ended and revolved around the murder of a returning black war hero. This book, set in the mid-1960s, is focused on the federally mandated school desegregation's affect on the town, while also serving up a mystery involving a poor white man's death due to a supposedly self-inflicted gunshot wound. The blurb on the back of the trade paperback makes it seem to be more a mystery tale than it truly is. This is as much a story about a town in the deep South as the author's second one is, with fully realized characters possessing complexity and contradictions. In a town where whites and blacks don't mingle and everyone seems to know everyone's business, there are plenty of secrets that, if revealed, could change everything.
There is a vague connection to the second book, but otherwise, each stands on its own. I enjoyed spending time with these characters and hope Johnson keeps writing about the generations of people who call Revere their home.