Sunday, April 21, 2013

Camelot: A Novel, by Caryl Rivers

Diversion Books, ISBN 9781626810037, March 2013

It's 1963, and Mary Springer is just starting to feel confident in her abilities as a reporter for the Belvedere (MD) Blade. Blade photographer Jay Broderick is itching to do more with his talent than mundane local news photos. And Don Johnson, a young black writer who has just returned from the Freedom Rides, is torn between desire to pursue writing and commitment to advancing civil rights. Their lives intertwine as competing forces of personal ambition, passion, and growing civic and political awareness draw them together and push them in new directions.

And in interludes, we enter the mind of JFK as he deals with both national and personal issues as late summer and early fall pass, and his November trip to Dallas approaches.

This is a lovely meditation on the early sixties, the changes happening then, and the way they affected people's lives. The civil rights movement is beginning to feel its strength, and the first stirrings of the women's rights movement are coming to life. But nothing comes without price, and Mary, Jay, and Don all have painful choices to make, and suffer losses they can't avoid.

Rivers' sense of the feelings as well as the facts of the sixties, and delicately expert character development, make this a rewarding and interesting read.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.