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Acts of Forgiveness - a moving, thought-provoking family drama.

Wilhelmina “Willie” Revel is the daughter of Max and Lourdes. When Max's construction company becomes a success, the family moves a few miles away to a more upscale suburban Philadelphia neighborhood. Willie is sent to a private school where she is the only Black student. While she started out to become a journalist, Willie returns to her family's home after a promising start in her career, when she is needed in the family business. Years later, female President Elizabeth Johnson, a descendant of Andrew Johnson and also a former mentor to Willie, passes the Forgiveness Act. The government sets to pay $175,000 to people who can prove they were descendants of slaves. The country becomes divided on its fairness. Willie sets out to learn the history of her family as the reparation payments offer a chance to get the family back on its feet.


In an impressive debut, author Maura Cheeks tackles the subject of reparations in Acts of Forgiveness. Through the eyes of one family, it becomes clear that this is a complex topic. Not everyone is comfortable with Willie researching the family's roots. And not everyone agrees on the role the government should play in providing these payments. This is a moving, multigenerational family drama where the lives of the Revel family play out in various timelines and narratives while addressing racism and a hypothetical public policy.


Many thanks to Ballantine Books | Random House for the opportunity to read this touching book in advance.


Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Contemporary Fiction.

Publication Date: February 13, 2024.


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