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Cliff Chandler

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Member Since: Sep, 2002

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Featured Book
Le défi
by Antoine Raphael

Une adolescente abusée se décide, malgré tout, à concrétiser ses rêves..  
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RebeccaReads & Motherless Child
Wednesday, September 03, 2008  12:41:00 PM

by Cliff Chandler

Literary Fiction
LuAnn Morgan reviews Motherless Child


Motherless Child

Cliff Chandler

iUniverse, Inc. (2007)

ISBN 9780595712106

Reviewed by LuAnn Morgan for RebeccasReads (8/08)

Billy Raymond was born in the south, the second generation following the elimination of

slavery in the U.S. At the young age of four, he already recognizes the signs of

discrimination and segregation he and his family must face on a daily basis. Those

givens become clearer when he travels with his grandmother to New York when his

mother announces she is getting married.

Billy lives with his grandmother. His single mother felt unable to care for a child, so she

left him in capable hands as she traveled to make a life for herself outside of the Deep

South. Of course, now that she will no longer be a single mother, Billy’s grandmother

decides his mother should be ready to take on that responsibility. However, his new

stepfather has other ideas. He has no desire to raise his new wife’s son.

With that, Billy returns to Georgia and continues to live with his grandmother. Yet, he

never forgets the different lifestyle of those blacks up north. They have so many

advantages compared to those in the south. His goal is to someday return to New York

and be truly free.

“Motherless Child” is Billy’s story. We follow this character as he grows up and works

toward fulfilling his dreams. It’s a story that goes beyond the typical “coming of age”

novel. With an author who is familiar with life in Georgia during the mid-20th century,

we are introduced to concepts and beliefs few are privy to. The reader is taken on a

journey not to be forgotten. We learn about prejudice first-hand and develop an

understanding for the trials minorities faced on a daily basis.

Billy is not a character who is easy to like. He often comes off as brash and pompous.

Indeed, it is a piece of his personality that works as a self-defense mechanism to protect

his feelings and emotions from the “real world.” It is that world he must both escape

from and find as even his own mother turns her back on him. With that in mind, the

reader can come to appreciate Billy’s personality and the book itself. That’s what I found

as I began to read this story. It soon engrossed my time and became difficult to put down.


Cliff Chandler himself has lived in both New York and Georgia. He has an extensive

education in writing and that definitely shows as the reader experiences the vernacular of

each part of the country.

Particularly endearing is his descriptions of Billy and his grandmother on the train to and

from New York. It was a different experience in the 1930s, prior to desegregation and the

civil rights movement. Chandler has done his homework and presented the reader with a

believable novel about an unbelievable time in the history of our country.


 More News about Cliff Chandler
Book Signing - 1/9/2008 11:26:00 AM

Art Speak - 2/17/2005 10:31:00 AM

Georgia Public Radio Interview - 7/29/2004 7:03:00 PM

New York Interview - 9/24/2003 5:51:00 PM

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