Battle-Feldon’s debut is not an easy read and nor should it be. Fortunate are those of us that only experience such brutality in the pages of a book. Afterwards we emerge more enlightened with our hearts and minds expanded. Remembered will stay with you long after reading. Thankful are we that untold stories such as Spring’s are finally being given a voice.
Most of what I’m about to tell you ain’t in no history book, no newspaper article, no encyclopedia. There’s a whole heap of stories don’t ever get told … ” In Yvonne Battle-Felton’s compelling debut novel, recently longlisted for the Women’s prize for fiction, this is how Spring begins telling her story to her son, as he lies dying in hospital in Philadelphia. The year is 1910 and he has driven a streetcar into a “No Coloreds Allowed” department store, causing racial tensions to erupt into riots... Throughout the novel, the author emphasises the importance of passing on stories of slavery, while she also points out the difficulty of telling them to a white audience that doesn’t want to hear... Painful, vital truth resounds in this accomplished work of fiction.