Sunday, December 28, 2014

Green, by Keith C. Clark

AuthorBuzz, ISBN 9781493783137, March 2014

Wish Fitzgerald is an African American teenager with a dream of being a golfer--in 1969 Connecticut. The nearest he can get to his dream for the moment is caddying at a country club and practicing secretly after hours. It's while caddying at the club that he meets Jackson Spears, whose wealthy father is trying to make him a golfer. The boys strike up a close, if largely secret, friendship, which ultimately crashes on the rocks of Jackson's father and the fraught race relations of the time.

Both boys are profoundly affected by the experience, and over the next five decades, it continues to affect and influence them both. This is a golf novel, but it's also a novel of the seventies, eighties, and nineties in America, a look at race relations through a different lens, the world of golf and the on-again, off-again friendship of Wish and Jackson. They and other characters are developed effectively and movingly, yet with a light touch that has room for humor as well as deep emotion.

I truly enjoyed this book, far more than I would have expected for a novel about golf, and with the potential to be overwrought give the realities of race relations in America. This is very nicely done.

Recommended.

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