I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Loving vs. Virginia Published by Chronicle Books on January 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, United States, 20th Century, Social Themes, Prejudice & Racism, Law & Crime
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.
Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell is a beautifully written story about Richard and Mildred Loving’s fight to legalize their marriage. The story is told in verse and through historical documents from that time. We read as Richard and Mildred grow up together in Caroline County in a very progressive area where the races intermingled despite the prejudice and injustice just outside their town’s borders. As the two fall in love, we read as they decide to take the next logical step in their relationship and marry despite it being illegal in Virginia. Instead of beginning a wonderfully happy life together with their children, Richard and Mildred are forced to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court just to be able to live together in peace as a family.
I knew about this case long before I read this novel, but I never knew about their life together growing up. This was eye-opening, as I never knew their were places in the South where people of different races could live together in relative peace. Of course their lives weren’t perfect. There was a racist Sheriff who liked to make life difficult, and Mildred had to attend a Colored school. However, their life was more ideal than what blacks facd in other parts of the country. I also found it interesting that their relationship was accepted by both of their families, but that they were looked down upon in the town proper. This really emphasizes how racism it learned, and not something we are innately born with.
I found this novel to be a beautifully written story about a difficult time in American history, and a must-read novel for all high school students. Patricia Hruby Powell onset the horrors committed during the 1950’s towards people of color with her beautiful prose. This helped contrast the Loving’s beautiful relationship with the harsh realities of the world around them. I would definitely recommend this book to others.