56. Zebratown

The True Story of a Black Ex-Con And A White Single Mother In Small Town America

by Greg Donaldson

The subtitle sums it all up, doesn’t it? Charles is an ex-con from Brooklyn who spent quite a bit of time in the prison system. While in the Elmira facility he would look out the window at the town of Elmira and imagine it as a perfect place to settle upon his release. He hopes that it will be easier to stay out of trouble there than back home in Brooklyn. 

Kathy, his soon to be girlfriend, is like a lot of young, white women in Elmira and the surrounding areas. They struggle to build good lives for themselves and their children, but at the same time they are drawn to the mystery and danger that surround the young Black men that move to the area.

This isn’t an attempt to solve a problem or teach a lesson. It just follows two people as they try to overcome the obstacles that life gives them. Very clear and interesting. Like watching a documentary.

Nothing really. I did dislike some decisions made and some people involved, but that has nothing to do with the writing or the book itself.

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