A DARK IRIS by Elizabeth J. Jones


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Set in Bermuda in 1972, this novel tells the story of 13-year-old Rebekah Eve, a talented black artist whose visions hold keys to the past.

Rebekah has tested into Meridian, the best school on the island, to the delight of her ambitious mother. But Rebekah finds it hard to focus in class, especially when people and scenes appear in her mind that demand to be drawn. Her best friend, Wanda, is growing apart from her; her parents have separated; and her mother is dating a white man—all of which are additional distractions. But Rebekah’s father supports her art, and when the mysterious Lady of the Library tells him to bring her to the island’s eminent black artist, Mr. Stowe, for private lessons, he does so. This mentorship helps her understand that people from the past are revealing their stories through her art. While some abrupt transitions occasionally make the story difficult to follow, the novel is fast-paced and sprinkled with recognizable growing pains and cultural realities. The historical events Rebekah’s art uncovers are inspired by real historical events. The blurred line between imagination and truth-telling in artistic expression is intriguingly portrayed in this ode to art and to the silenced, condemned voices of the past.

With elements of mystery and history, emotion and thrill, this is a worthwhile addition to any collection. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-976-8267-25-2
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Blouse & Skirt Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019