Book-in-Focus: The Revisioners: A Novel Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
“ A powerful tale of racial tensions across generations."
This is the story
In 1924, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine’s family.
Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine’s descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother, Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays Ava to be her companion. But Martha’s behavior soon becomes erratic, then threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine’s converge.
The Revisioners explores the depths of women’s relationships―powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between mothers and their children, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“Just finished it! I'm giving it 5 stars since the story line is staying with me even afterwards. Sexton created authentic characters with Ava, Gladys, and Josephine, and I felt the pain from their struggles too. Painful, but overall not a sad read, but one that makes you feel strongly about family at the end. I did get some Octavia Butler vibes and I won't complain about that. I'd join a book club just to hash out who was who (found out about this book release through WRBG). Very interested in who people think Jupiter was." —A. McDaniel, Amazon Readers' Review “First off, I loved this book! We all know that our ancestors stories are powerful, but at times it’s difficult to truly relate. The Revisioners shows us how powerfully we are connected to ancestors that we have never met and it does so by brilliantly telling the story of two women, connected by blood, but living out their stories more than a century apart. The writing is relatable and authentic. You can hear the characters in you head and the stories will leave you wondering what your own ancestors may have experienced. I won’t give too much away, but I will say this is a magical experience.” —Jessica Reeves, Amazon Readers' Review “ I thoroughly enjoyed every word in this book. The current timed and the historical ones. Ms. Sexton has written our history, the lessons it brings and the current Day sorrows and triumphs. I felt myself within the pages. Highly recommended.” — Angelia Vernon Menchan Amazon Readers' Review VINE VOICE “"[A] stunning new novel . . . Sexton’s writing is clear and uncluttered, the dialogue authentic, with all the cadences of real speech...This is a novel about the women, the mothers." —New York Times Book Review
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MARGARET WILKERSON SEXTON, born and raised in New Orleans, studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.