Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She's a senior, she's got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school's team.
But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.
Review 3 out of 5 stars
I often get caught up in stories and covers that reflect so many of the faces and stories of people I know, people that look like me.
I can’t say that Home and Away was any different. The cover featured a black girl and the first line of the synopsis described her as “young, fabulous and black.”
I was in.
But I have some disappointments/dislikes along with some likes.
Tasia Quirk’s character reminded me a lot of Starr in T.H.U.G.
Seemingly balancing their blackness between two worlds. Dangling between the part of them that calls to be black and this new part of this MC, that might not be.
They shared the same careful approach towards blackness—afraid to bask in its hardships and in my opinion in its power.
They seemed more comfortable questioning it, but the author used the characters to portray a sense of black empowerment in places I found hard to believe and not true to the characters current struggles with their race.
For instance, there was a scene in which two friends discovered their distaste for each other was due to colorism and jealousy of blackness. I didn’t get it and I think it was mostly due to the fact of its timing and the fact that the character just didn’t come off that way, neither of them did.
Also, the kneeling scene came out of left field. It felt forced and it took away the importance and significance of what kneeling stands for.
Not to nitpick but these two scenes rubbed me the wrong way and it took something away from the story for me.
Aside from that, however, the writing is absolutely stellar. Easy to follow, clear, concise and a clear indication of the author's innate talent. The characters are pretty well fleshed out. The pacing is also pretty well done, though I found it lengthy for a contemporary—at close to 400 pages. It felt long.
I wanted a little more and a little less in some areas, but for a debut, it’s clear there’s more for this author to tell.
She has the talent and I’m sure we will be hearing more from her and I’d support it.