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★★★★★

“God Only Knows ”

Written on: 05/03/2009 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

God Only Knows
Xavier Knight
Grand Central, Mar 23 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 9780446582391

The four African-American women (Julia, Toya, Cassie, and Teri) met when they attended the same almost all white Christian Light School in Dayton, Ohio two decades ago. Each has found success in their chosen field, but what unites them is a tragic memory from their days at the school. Eddie Walker attacked one of the girls, but with help from the others, he was the one who became debilitated.

Now Julia Turner is coming home to become superintendent of Christian Light School. They hid the truth, but Eddie's brother Police Detective Peter Whitlock still investigates the accident. His efforts prove fruitful when he finds links to Cassie; forcing Julia to decide whether she must reveal the truth of what happened when she was thirteen years old, but owes her three friends an opportunity to voice their opinions as to whether the truth will set them free.

This is an entertaining contemporary character study starring best friends dealing with a traumatic incident twenty years ago that haunts each of them differently. Their lives and that of others (besides obviously Eddie) like Pete were shaped by that tragedy and their immediate actions. Each of the foursome know if they remain silent nothing will happen to them; however Julia's conscience makes her question whether silence is right especially when an obsessed Pete goes after Cassie. Although the final denouncement seems unlikely detracting from an interesting tale, fans will enjoy Xavier Knight's deep look at how one major disturbing event as a teen shapes the adult even though two decades have past.

Harriet Klausner

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