This book was beautifully written by Jesmyn Ward. While the story is engrossing, it is also hard to read. It was so emotionally draining that I could only read a chapter, maybe two, at a time. The characters are so well written, I'd happily read another 3 books about this family.
We follow Jojo, a 13-year-old African American boy and his family as Jojo tries to figure out what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in a constant state of struggle both with herself and with the world. His father, Michael, is white and in prison. His sister, Kayla, turns to him for comfort, love and everything else you'd expect from a father figure.
When Michael is released from Prison, Leonie, Kayla and Jojo go on a road trip to pick him up. While at the prison we meet the ghost of a young boy who knew Jojo's Pop when he was at the prison. The ghost travels back with Jojo and his family, looking for answers and sharing another perspective on family and love.
The story is beautiful, strong, emotional, and a little magical. You won't want to put it down, but you may need to so your heart can rest.