In this stirring, tender-hearted debut about ambition and inheritance, a family grapples with how much of their lineage they're willing to unearth in order to participate in the nation's first federal reparations program.
Every American waits with baited breath to see whether or not the country's first female president will pass the Forgiveness Act. The bill would allow Black families to claim up to $175,000 if they can prove they are the descendants of slaves and for ambitious single mother Willie Revel the bill could be a long-awaited form of redemption. A decade ago, Willie gave up her burgeoning journalism career to help run her father's struggling construction company in Philadelphia and she has reluctantly put family first without being able to forget who she might have become. Now, she's back living with her parents and her young daughter while trying to keep her family from going into bankruptcy. Could the Forgiveness Act uncover her forgotten roots while also helping save their beloved home and her father's life work?
In order to qualify, she must first prove that the Revels are descended from slaves, but the rest of the family isn't as eager to dig up the past. Her mother is adopted; her father doesn't trust the government and believes working with a morally corrupt employer is the better way to save their business; and her daughter is just trying to make it through the fifth grade at her elite private school without attracting unwanted attention. It's up to Willie to verify their ancestry and save her family--but as she delves into their history, Willie begins to learn just how complicated family and forgiveness can be.
With powerful insight and moving prose, Acts of Forgiveness asks how history shapes who we become and to consider the weight of success when it is achieved despite incredible odds--and ultimately what leaving behind a legacy truly means.
Maura Cheeks has published writing in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and Tin House, among others. In 2019, she was awarded a masthead reporting residency with The Atlantic where she produced the feature-length article that would later inspire the idea for this book. Acts of Forgiveness is her first novel.
- Publisher:Ballantine Books
- Publish Date: February 13, 2024
- Pages: 320
- Dimensions: 0.0 X 0.0 X 0.0 inches | 0.0 pounds
- Language: English
- Type: Hardcover
- EAN/UPC: 9780593598290