By Wand M. Morris
I really liked Wanda M. Morris’s ANYWHERE YOU RUN (Your Past Will Find You). For one thing, the title actually has something to do with the novel. Second, the promotional blurb on the back of the book accurately represents the story. I appreciate that. I should mention the novel is published by William Morrow, currently my favorite publisher. A cover blurb calls it a thriller. The promo on the back calls it suspense. I lean to suspense. I could not help but dread whatever was coming next. No matter what would happen, I knew it would be bad. And it was. Yet at the end, I shed a tear of joy. Time flew by when I was reading it.
The story is told from three perspectives.: two black sisters in their early 20s and a poor white man old enough to have a son needing expensive medical treatment.
The setup(s): The two sisters- Violet and Marigold – live in racially-torn Jackson, Mississippi in 1964. Violet is the beautiful one, wild and a partier. A rich white man wants to marry her. Not any white man, but the son of the wealthy leader of a white supremacist group. When another white man rapes Violet, she goes to the police, who mock her and send her away. When the rapist returns to try again, Violets shoots and kills him. She fears what would happen to her if the police apprehended her for killing a white man (slimebucket that he may be). So she runs away with the rich white guy. At a stop in Birmingham, Alabama, she steals his wallet, and hops on a bus headed east.
Marigold is the smart, dutiful sister. She works at the Mississippi Summer Project, a volunteer group advocating for black rights in Mississippi. She meets and dates a handsome black lawyer from NYC. When she tells him she’s pregnant, he hightails it back to Harlem. Somewhat desperate not to be an unwed mother, Marigold marries a no-account who talks big talk but can’t hold a job. They pack his car and head north to Ohio. He remains jobless and starts to beat her.
Mercer, the poor white man, is hired by the rich man to find Violet. Mercer despises the rich kid, but needs the money to pay for his son’s hospital bills and move his family to Florida. It’s a tricky task for him.
Okay, that’s the setup.
“Anywhere You Run” is a suspenseful novel, not so much for what’s happening (though there’s that too). But for what’ll happen next. Wanda Morris did a good job keeping the tension going for the entire novel. She has a knack for introducing things (and people) that later became an important element in the story – some good and some bad. A great book from start to finish.
My only major qualm is Morris does not resolve a MAJOR storyline. Instead, she slops it off in two sentences. I was shocked and stunned (at least one of those). Even though it still bugs me, it only slightly takes away from the story.
My rating; Five Stars
Review by Joseph Snoe Reviewer Extraordinaire