... a resonant and romantic novel, filled with truth and history and finely-etched details. Featuring two young lovers who are passionate about changing the world but unsure of how to accomplish their goals, the reader will remember them and their story long after finishing the book ... has so many good things to say about love, faith, art, politics and family that it astonishes. A wonderful portrait of life in the early 1960s, it also provides a sweet and sometimes heartbreaking romance ... Jason and Anita are both very realistic characters ... Their romance is just the right mix of fiery and sweet, and they never allow their true selves to be consumed by their developing love story ... Hill’s Brooklyn jumps to life (as it should; she grew up in the neighborhood where Jason and Anita live), and her period details are excellent as well. She does a beautiful job balancing Jason and Anita’s love story with the turbulent period in which they live, and the novel’s use of real text from X and King’s speeches, as well as archival newspaper clippings and photographs, help the reader step into Hill’s world ... has a wonderfully timeless quality to it. It comes with my very highest recommendation, and may it provoke strong feelings in whoever picks it up.
... a powerful romance ... Hill doesn’t hold back from discussing the atrocities perpetuated on African Americans or the risks her courageous characters take in advocating for their rights. Historical photos, famous speeches, and news articles from the day punctuate the narrative, and Hill skillfully weaves in real heroes of the movement, including the late John Lewis, to whom the book is dedicated. Meticulous research, achingly real characters, and convincing romance power this enthralling tale, which ultimately lands on a message of love and compromise. This is a knockout.
Hill’s enjoyable, well-paced, and deftly structured novel, which features historical photographs, is filled with musical allusions, including a Christmas Motown spectacular at the Apollo Theater. Her descriptions of the sights, aromas, and tempo of Harlem—the ’60s Northern Black cultural and intellectual center—in all its diversity, are vivid and reflected through two strong, fully drawn protagonists ... the vibrancy of Harlem, the excitement of listening to Anita read her poetry at the B-Flat nightclub, and a magnetic connection that keeps each in the other’s thoughts eventually work their magic in this powerful tale ... A captivating and skillfully constructed weaving of history and romantic drama.