Jump at the Sun: A Novel McLarin, Kim Unbranded

Jump at the Sun: A Novel McLarin, Kim

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Product Description In her previous books, celebrated author Kim McLarin skillfully examined issues of race and love. Jump at the Sun is her stunning third novel in which she addresses the same complicated subjects, as well as gender, class, and motherhood. Grace Jefferson is an educated and accomplished modern woman, a child of the Civil Rights dream, and she knows it well. But after a series of rattling personal transitions, she finds herself in a new house in a new city and in a new career for which she feels dangerously unsuited: a stay-at-home mom. Caught between the only two models of mothering she has ever known -- a sharecropping grandmother who abandoned her children to save herself and a mother who sacrificed all to save her kids -- Grace struggles to embrace her new role, hoping to find a middle ground. But as the days pass and the pressures mount, Grace begins to catch herself in small acts of abandonment -- speeding up on neighborhood walks, closing doors with the children on one side and her on the other -- that she fears may foretell a future she is powerless to prevent. Or perhaps it's a future she secretly seeks. Jump at the Sun is a novel about an isolating suburban life and the continuing legacy of slavery, about generational change and the price of living the dream for which our parents fought. Primarily it is a novel about motherhood, and not a sentimental one. As Grace struggles not to damage her children with her own fears and complications, her thoughts stray far from the greeting-card picture often expected of mothers in society today. In her bold and fearless voice McLarin explores both the highs and the lows of being a mother and how breaking the cycle of suffocation and regret is infuriatingly difficult, and absolutely necessary. From Publishers Weekly With a big house in an upscale Boston suburb, a doting scientist husband and two cute daughters, Grace, heroine of this penetrating novel of family affection and disaffection, is living the middle-class black woman's dream. But as she tends to her kids' wearying demands, fends off her husband's desire for a son and watches her sociology Ph.D. go to waste, she feels like "a claustrophobic in a mining shaft" and fantasizes about ditching her family. It's no idle daydream—her grandmother Rae repeatedly abandoned her children to search for whatever satisfactions life had to offer a Mississippi sharecropper's daughter, while her mother, Mattie, who sacrificed her happiness for her children's, offers an object lesson in the toll that family devotion can take. McLarin ( Taming It Down) weaves the stories of three generations of mothers and daughters in astringent prose ("You couldn't be expected to live without them, but you'd better remember at all times, even with the good ones, that it was you against them," Grace muses of the wild cards that are men). Her characters chafe against the bonds of poverty, racism and feminine stereotypes, but their deeper struggle is to resolve their longing for fulfillment with ties of the heart. (July) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist For better or worse, each generation influences the next, and Grace does not know which generation of women in her family she resembles most. Her grandmother Royal was born into poverty in the south, one step up from slavery, and was willing to do anything to get away--including leaving her children. Mattie, her eldest daughter, would do anything for the love that her mother never gave her. She worked hard and sacrificed everything for family, even putting her children at risk financially to help her mother when she needed money. Grace, Mattie's daughter, appears to have the perfect life--a graduate degree in sociology, a loving stable husband and two young daughters--but she isn't sure that she's cut out for motherhood. As McLarin exposes how the past affects the present, she considers the problems facing A

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