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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"The Inheritors" by Judith Kirscht~Class & Racial Tensions

SUMMARY :   During the Sixties, Alicia Barron uncovers her mother’s Caucasian roots when she inherits a time-worn mansion, the remnant of the estate of a Chicago industrialist who, she discovers, is her grandfather. Her search of the house takes her into the lives of past generations of women whose love carried them across forbidden boundaries, and into the conflict of class, nationality, and race that is the history of the city itself. The identity she finds there, however, leads to increasing conflict with her first great love, Ricardo Moreno, who wants Alicia to reject her gringo roots.


Published by:  New Libri Press
Pages:  245
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Author:  Judith Kirscht


Born and raised in Chicago and educated at the Universities of Chicago and Michigan, Judith Kirscht taught for many years at the Universities of Michigan and California, Santa Barbara before retiring to Washington State to devote herself to writing fiction. In addition to professional articles and a textbook (co-authored), she has published short stories and two novels, NOWHERE ELSE TO GO (Florida Academic Press, 2011), and THE INHERITORS (New Libri Press, 2012).


This is the story of a girl who inherits the house that belonged to her grandfather and mother.  Once she does, she finds pieces of her own history that were hidden from her.

Judith Kirscht has written a timely novel with characters who jump out of the pages.  There are several very strong characters both Latino, white and multi-cultural who dominate the story of discrimination and racism in the 1960's set in Chicago.

Interestingly enough, we see the reverse snobbery and discrimination of Latino Ricardo the love interest, against the primary character, Alicia's white (and mixed blood) ancestry.  This is a particular element we don't often find in fiction of this era with a multi-cultural setting, and one that fascinated me.  I felt the story was given depth and significance by all such complications of racism and prejudice.

Well researched and developed, it seemed, "The Inheritors" offers a side of American culture and life that is not often exposed in such a blatant manner.  I enjoyed it and recommend it for those who are interested in this timely subject.

You can find this book on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Inheritors-Judith-Kirscht-ebook/product-reviews/B0088QYXS8/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R2U7LCJNSAP8AI

3.5 stars                  Deborah/The Bookish Dame


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