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The Untellingby Tayari Jones
Synopses & Reviews
Aria is no stranger to tragedy — as a young girl, she and her older sister and mother survived a car crash that took the lives of their father and beloved baby sister. And although relations with her remaining family are strained, she's done her best to establish a solid, normal life for herself, living in Atlanta and teaching literacy to girls who have fallen on hard times.
But now she has a secret that she's not yet ready to share with Dwayne, her devoted boyfriend, or Rochelle, her roommate and best friend: Aria is pregnant. Or so she thinks. The truth is about to make her question her every assumption and reevaluate the life she has worked so hard to build for herself...as it sends her reeling in a direction she had no idea she was destined to go.
"The legacy of a fatal accident haunts surviving family members in Jones's deep-felt second novel (after Leaving Atlanta). As a young girl, native Atlantan Aria Jackson lost her father and baby sister in a car accident; her inability to comfort her dying father, and her mother's failed effort to save the baby, have damaged their relationship. After graduating from Spelman, Aria goes to work at a local literacy center, where she is drawn to outspoken Keisha Evers, a young teen pregnant with her second child. When Aria believes she is pregnant, she confides in Keisha before sharing the news with her fiancé, Dwayne. But when mysterious cramping sends her to the doctor, Aria learns that she is not pregnant but instead experiencing very early menopause. Reluctant to tell Dwayne the truth, Aria claims to have lost the baby. Dwayne's desire for a child remains strong, and Aria watches with growing envy as Keisha's pregnancy progresses. When a second doctor confirms Aria's condition, she is forced to make difficult choices with the shadow of her past looming over her. The first-person narration is convincing and genuine, and Jones handles her material with sensitivity and sympathy. This strong sophomore effort will bolster her reputation." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Teens will appreciate Ariadne's dilemma as she wrestles first with the implications of a child out-of-wedlock and then the more difficult truth that she will never bear her own children." School Library Journal
"In the end, despite every obstacle, Aria has managed to acquire both dignity and sympathy, and The Untelling has worked a most improbable and most welcome charm." Washington Post
When Aria Jackson was nine, she lived through a car crash that killed her father and baby brother. The tragedy left the surviving members wounded by rage and guilt, pulling away from each other in an attempt to distance themselves from the pain. At 25, Aria has done her best to establish a normal life for herself, living in Atlanta and teaching literacy to inner-city teenaged girls. For the first time, she has people who love her and in whom she can confide. And when she discovers that she may be pregnant, Aria is seduced by the promise of a normal family. Then everything changes in ways she never anticipated. As she unearths secrets about family and friends and mediates between her past and her altered reality, she searches for the courage to divulge one heartbreaking revelation after another. With prose that is both eloquent and unflinching, Jones charts the emotional journey of her characters as they explore the painful territory of truth and the healing landscape of forgiveness.
Aria Jackson lived through the car crash that killed her father and brother when she was nine. At 25 she begins to unearth secrets about family, friends, her past, and her altered reality in this journey through truth and forgiveness.
About the Author
Tayari Jones is an English professor at the University of Illinois. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Award for debut fiction.
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