Monday, June 30, 2014

#BookReview: Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith

Okay, you know how you’re reading something and you know it’s fiction and you tell yourself something like this could never really happen, but then you start thinking, what if? That’s exactly what happened to me as I read Forty Acres. From start to finish, I didn’t want to put this book down. It was just that fascinating.

A young Queens lawyer, Martin Grey has just won the case of his life. Pulling in big money in a civil suit means he and his best friend and partner can finally stop struggling. Winning the case against a renowned attorney such as Damon Darrell is almost better than money. For so long, Martin admired the attorney with a proven track record for winning when it counted most. And he, Martin Grey, had bested him. So it comes as a surprise when Martin and his wife receive an invitation to dine at the home of Damon and his wife.

Sitting in this house, smoking cigars and drinking brandy with some of the most important men in the world is mind blowing, and an invitation to join them on a weekend getaway is more than he could have hoped for. Who knew where winning just one case would lead him? Suddenly, he’s a part of a group of African American men dedicated to righting the wrongs of the past. He’s drawn to their power and the potential of wealth, but he can’t reconcile those things with what he sees on a retreat with them.

I’ll admit that early on in reading this I got thrown for a loop. The author had the main character attending Spelman College for undergrad. As most of you know, Spelman is women’s college. I was a little disappointed in the author for not knowing this off the top of his head when he picked a school, and just as disappointed with his proofer and editor for not catching it either. When authors start with such blatant mistakes about something easily researched, I wonder how much effort they put into researching other areas of the book. When he saw me post about the mistake on Goodreads, Dwayne Smith actually took the time to reach out to me, apologize for his error and promised that it would be corrected in the final version. He gets major points from me for that.

Aside from that error, the book is an amazing read. The words of Dr. Kasim, the group’s leader, really give you pause to think. It’s obvious that Smith is a student of history and this is shown through the speeches and background of Dr. Kasim. The men who follow him completely buy into his theories, making it easy for him to accept his actions, and it’s easy to see how they are swayed. I can’t imagine that anyone will be able to read Forty Acres and not wonder, even just a little bit, about how the world would change if the scenarios written about were to actually happen.

Published: July 2014
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

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