Review: The Darkest Child

Book CoverAuthor: Delores Phillips

Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher: Soho Press
Release Date:  January 1, 2005
Paperback: 462 pages
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description

Rozelle Quinn is so fair-skinned that she can pass for white. Her ten children are mostly light, too. They constitute the only world she rules and controls. Her power over them is all she has in an otherwise cruel and uncaring universe.

Rozelle favors her light-skinned kids, but Tangy Mae, 13, her darkest-complected child, is the brightest. She desperately wants to continue with her education. Her mother, however, has other plans. Rozelle wants her daughter to work cleaning houses for whites, like she does, and accompany her to the “Farmhouse,” where Rozelle earns extra money bedding men. Tangy Mae, she’s decided, is of age.

Reviews by Mocha Girl Book Bloggers
Mocha Girls Tigg’s Review:  I rarely give 5 stars in my reviews, but this book was definitely deserving of that and so much more!! Ms. Phillips spun a tragically beautiful story had me captivated from the first page, I was so angry when I had to put it down to go to work. It reminded me of my grandmother, she was from New Orleans and once told me that she ran away from home because her mother tried to sell her off at the age of 13 to an older man for a cow. It’s deplorable how young black women and girls were undervalued and treated back then. I never wanted it to end. I don’t want to give too much away, but read this book.
Mocha Girls Tahmeka’s Review:  I wanted to love this book but it never really came together for me. The characters had potential to be great but they weren’t fleshed out. I think there were too many. Mattie, Harvey, the white lady that Tan worked for (I can’t think of her name), Skeeter, Jeff,… the list goes on. So many people who weren’t relevant to the story.
I think that the secondary plot, the county in the beginning phases of integration, was too much. The main plot was intense enough.
This book could have been perfection had the author spent more time with the characters. I don’t feel like there was enough.
Mocha Girl Pearl’s Review: I am giving this five stars because it was well written, although this was the most painful and emotional novel I have read in a long time, she described the events and characters with such detail and definition. I was so hoping for a happy ending and it almost was one, but the only happiness is that one day Tangy Mae will look by and be happy the she and Laura made it out of Pakersfield. I am still to emotional to even write a review.
Did you read The Darkest Child?  What did you think of the book?  Leave your review in the comments.
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Just another girl who loves to read and then read some more and wants to meet others like me.
  • Hi Mocha Girls – really like what you’re doing here.

    If you have any suggestions for my list for A Year of Reading the World, I’d be really grateful. So far, a lot of the recommendations I’ve had for Caribbean and African writers are very mainstream. I’m keen to highlight great writers that UK readers may not have heard of by getting recommendations from people who know the books scene in different countries around the world well – any thoughts would be great.

    • I love your project! That is soo amazing. I will send you a few names and info shortly. Good luck on this!

  • Rochelle

    OMG this book was such a painful read for me, I was going through many emotional feelings, this book kept me intrigued, I kept telling myself this is just a book, but then forreal did this type of behavior really exist back in that time, this mother 35 years old with 10 children geesh putting these children through all that unneccessary pain, especially the girls being put through the shame and pain of sleeping with all types of old nasty, disrespectful men. As I read the book I kept picturing Ceelie (color purple) as the one narrating the story, I would then picture the book precious and sometimes the book The Help would come to mind throughout these combinations of books it pained me, I wanted to go in the book and beat that momma’s behind so many times, it was sad and then sorrowful that she was that messed up, I get all that, but she had enough sense to keep her self up and looking good but basically abused her kids by keeping them in bondage to her. Because I am a happy ending girl, I kept hoping for a happy ending, I guess in Tangy Mae mind her leaving with her little sister with less than a $100 in her pocket was the start of a new beginning.

    • Girl you had me cracking up and you are so right about wanting to jump on mama. LOL!! Me too!!

  • I’ll be back for my review! I’m so happy I am able to participate with this one!

  • I detested the mother from the begining and thought of the Color Purple as I read it. I did like it. The book really drags you like a car crash you are in awe by the wreckage but want to see if everyone makes it out okay…well at least the protagonist. Definitely a lot going on and someone mentioned too many characters. I felt that way as well…I felt like skipping a few times but I still think it was a great read. I swallowed it up over a weekend!

  • Wanda

    Although the book was sad and the events taking place were tragic, I enjoyed the book. I found myself becoming so emotional so many times and waiting for the mother to get her just do. What the girls went through was unimaginable and seeing how it followed and shaped them as they got older.

  • Sunflwr38

    This is one of my favorite books. The audio was great

  • Sunflwr38

    This is one of my favorite books. The audio was great