With Raisins in Milk, political scientist and creative writer David Covin delivers an arresting tale of love, loss, and protracted struggle. Set in Florida at the beginning of the twentieth century, the novel excavates the social, political, and economic encumbrances Black communities faced after the end of Reconstruction. Tragic and triumphant, Covin’s fourth novel deftly elucidates the country’s deep-seated racist histories and honors African Americans’ astonishing capacity to imagine a brighter future for posterity even when immersed in the darkest of circumstances.

Ruth-Ann Weathering is the anchor of the novel’s myriad characters and divergent plotlines. In the first chapter, she is introduced as an eighth grader who possesses exceptional intellectual and oratorical gifts. Her teacher proclaims that she is the “best of what the future can be” and lobbies for her enrollment in the “colored” or...

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