by Jina Bacarr

ISBN: 1-58749-429-9
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Set in 1960, this is the sorry of two girls who wanted to be Kennedy Girls. The title given to cheerleader-type girls who were to support the John Kennedy campaign.

Afton comes from a strict Republican background and wants to break free of it. Louise is a mixed-race girl who has to pass herself as white to get considered at all despite Kennedyís determination to give coloured people the same rights as white people.

This story is written in the form of diaries of each girl and with different chapters written from the viewpoint of Louise and Afton.

Louiseís story is the most interesting. The author captures well the daring and the fear felt by Louise as she begins her struggle to become a Kennedy girl in order to fight for the rights she wants. Brought up by her grandmother, Louise feels she is partly betraying her culture by passing herself off as white, yet she canít see any alternative.

It is a very interesting story about the dramatic change that began in American politics in the sixties. It was an exciting era and the author captures that excitement, especially through Afton who sees the brave new world as an exciting opportunity for her to leave her restricted past behind.

Then we get Gillianís diary. She is a spoiled snob who thinks she can have everything because Daddy has always given it to her. Tall, blonde, and beautiful, every man will want her. Except Johnny, he wants Afton.

This is more a story of civil rights and changing times, as well as racial prejudice. The romance is very much secondary. This does not detract from a well-written story and memorable characters in Afton and Louise. Gillian, too, plays a big part. Although she certainly isnít a likeable character. However, the reader wonít forget her easily.

Reviewed in September 2004 by Mary.

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