||November 1, 2008
Barnes & Noble.com
A heartwarming romance about a young interracial couple's struggle against traditions and racism.
Checkered Fences is a romance about a high school student, Diane Jones, who dreams of her independence and becoming the first in her family to complete college by hard work and study. However, Diane's old fashion father has other plans for Diane and insists it's time for her to marry, which Diane vows never to do. Expectations change when affluent and handsome David Shaw comes into Diane's life and pursues her. Can love defy family traditions and survive?
"I like you very much as you must know by now," David stated, kissing me on both sides of my lips."
"No, I can't do this. I don't want to get pregnant or married. I won't have sex, and I don't want any children. I'm very militant. I'm a member of the Black Student Union, and I participate in protests for ethnic study classes. I don't want to be with any man. But if I have to choose, I should be with a black man, not you. Can't you see that?" I asked pushing him away again.
"No. All I know is I want you".
Is Love Enough
Diane takes a job as a nanny before heading off for college. The family is a wealthy one, with three children at home who need care while their parents are away. Chad, a son from the wife's previous marriage, tends to be a bit difficult but Diane is able to get him under control. What she doesn't expect is that the oldest son from the husband's previous marriage will show up with his mother one day. There is an instant attraction between them, but in the 1970's that is simply not acceptable - not to her family or his. Diane is from a militant Black family and David's parents are quite upper class.
Although Diane tries to push the attraction for David away from her, he won't let her. He touches her, holds her, even kisses her and finally ask her out on a date He wants her to go ride his dune buggy with him. Diane agrees and the romance is on. How will they break the news to either of their families? What will the outcome be? Even though David's family has been quite nice to Diane, will they fire her now?
Checkered Fences by Alma Hudson is a compact novel about the racism that has always plagued this country. For those who were n ot present in the late 70's this is an educational novel that will open thier eyes to the fact that what they see today has not always been. It is well worth reading.
This Story Began Long Ago
Checkered Fences, fiction based upon a true story by Alma Hudson, takes us back to the 1970's. The time is right, but one of the main families in the story probably should have lived sometime about 2000 or later. They are a white family. Diane Jones, the main character, is an 18-year-old African-American honors student, but she was also working as a nanny for Jerry and Ann Shaw. Diane's mother also worked the the Shaws.
Diane had a strong, traditional family. In fact, her father had picked out his wife by seeing her hard at work in the fields, and claimed her as his bride. So, it wasn't a surprise to Diane or her mother when Diane's father started to bring home young, suitable men so that Diane could pick her husband.
Except Diane was not interested in getting married at this time. She wanted to go to school. Her father made it quite clear that if she got herself pregnant out of marriage, that he would not support her.
Diane looks back on her childhood's happier times and knew she loved her father dearly, but there was never enough money and the children started working early. Christmas came and went, and there were never any presents. The only thing Diane ever received were taunts from neightborhood children about what they got! She also shares the type of discrimination and fear she faced as a young girl at school, only to come home to fear her father when he got drunk and abused her mother. Until she got brave enough to speak back to her father, to prevent his beatings.
So when her father crudely told her about sex and what the boys would want from her, it wasn't surprising that she decided she didn't want anything to do with all that; so she got as much work as she could find in order to earn a scholarship or money for college.
When her mother told her about the nanny job, it seemed a wondeful opportunity. Not only was she hired immediately, but she was given extra money to take the kids out for lunches and she was given the keys for her to drive one of the family's cars. Diane was amazed how she was being treated, but she knew better, she continued to act professionally and kept a distance form the family as would most employees.
But then their son Daivd came home; Diane and David were immediately attracted to each other. Diane, however, was the one who kept insisting that a relationship was impossible, while Daivd just pursued her.
It was the 1970's, but, to this day, Diane believes that God placed David in heer life for a reason, ending her book with 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. Loves never fails.
No, this isn't the usual kind of love story; or is it? Two people meet each other and fall in love. Should their race differences have kept them apart? Should thier families have disowned them and froced tradition on their children? If these questions are those that you have asked, or if you just enjoy a romantic story, I reccomend you check out Checkered Fences by Alma Hudson. There is a main answer provided her in this story. It began a lot earlier than the 1970's though it began when the book of Corinthians was first written.
Review by Geri R. for Reader Favorite
Checkered Fences by Alma Hudson is the story of Diane Jones, a young black girl growing up in California during the 1970's. Her life isn't easy. After seeing her mother suffer so much at the hands of her father, Diane is determined to not make those same mistakes. She is determined to never have to depend on a man for anything. When Diane meets David Shaw, the eldest son of the couple for whom she nannies, she is bothered by the fact that she feels an instant attraction for him. Not only is he male, but he is a white male and the son of her employer. She is determined to do everything to not fall for him; however, David makes it very difficult when all of his attention is focused on her.
This story is very poignant, and while it dealt with such themes as abuse and discrimination, which I have never dealt with, I was able to relate to Diane. I was able to related to her humble upbringing, her desire to finish college and her drive to work hard. Ms. Hudson developed characters that were believable, and showed raw emotions through small snippts of the days. I was pleased to see the transformation take place in Diane. She realizes that not all men are abusers like her father, and that David only has her best interest in mind with the attention he gives her. She is used to being invisible, but with David she is invisible no more. This book was a delight to read, and one I had a very hard time putting down. A short novella great for an afternoon read!
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