What’s it about?
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.
Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.
When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.
HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live. Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.
I recently read Traces of Kara by this author and as did that, this one also really drew me in from the first few pages. I chose to read in the southern dialect – having not come across this before it was nice to be offered the choice.
Written in the first person Have No Shame is the story of the innocent naive Alison who has grown up being told to ‘know her place‘ but as the story progresses Alison learns that she doesn’t just want to know her place and do what is expected of her. I found her to be a little annoying in the beginning and kept finding myself saying “oh Alison, just dump him” but I then I guess it made the plot more tense for the following events.
This book is set in a time of prejudice, is incredibly racially tense and I’m probably not alone when I say I can’t possibly understand what it would have been like to live in a time like this but this book does give, what seems, a good insight. I could believe that it was actually a true story.
The book sees its fair share of family revelations and secrets that gradually unfold which make for a really good read. Some aspects may have been a little predictable but I still enjoyed it. In fact, I raced through it in just over a weekend.
On the whole, I found it to be a page turner of a read which you’ll enjoy if you like books such as To Kill A Mocking bird, The Secret Life of Bees and The Help.
Available from Amazon Have No Shame
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About the author Melissa Foster
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.