Book Reviews

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips

The Darkest Child

About the book

Bakersfield, Georgia, 1958: Thirteen-year-old Tangy Mae Quinn is the sixth of ten fatherless siblings. She is the darkest-skinned among them and therefore the ugliest in her mother, Rozelle’s, estimation, but she’s also the brightest. Rozelle–beautiful, charismatic, and light-skinned–exercises a violent hold over her children. Fearing abandonment, she pulls them from school at the age of twelve and sends them to earn their keep for the household, whether in domestic service, in the fields, or at “the farmhouse” on the edge of town, where Rozelle beds local men for money.

But Tangy Mae has been selected to be part of the first integrated class at a nearby white high school. She has a chance to change her life, but can she break from Rozelle’s grasp without ruinous–even fatal–consequences?


I got the opportunity to read this book from NetGalley for an honest review. The Darkest Child is set in the United States of America during the civil rights era. It brings to fore the issue of racism within people of colour. The book is about a young girl named Tangy Mae. She is born into a family of 10 siblings and a single mother- Mama Rozelle. Mama Rozelle has these children all by different men and treats her lighter skinned children better than the darker skinned toned ones. Tangy Mae is among the darker skinned toned children.

She undergoes her mother’s physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Despite going through these challenges, Tangy Mae manages to complete high school and she is the brightest of the children. I really disliked Rozelle. The verbal abuse and negative words she would give Tangy Mae. I really felt I could get into the scene and rescue Tangy Mae from her situation because it was heartbreaking. You have to read the book to understand the abuse Tangy Mae went through.

Overall the book is sad, it’s encouraging and motivating at the same time. For a girl to go through what Tangy Mae went through and make it through school was inspirational. To read through what she went through her real mother is heartbreaking. What amazed me is how Rozelle would discriminate and abuse her child. This could have been someone’s true story and it is sad that racism exists even between people of the same race.

The Darkest Child was released on January 30th, 2018, a book I highly recommend.

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