“The boys could have been many things had they not been ruined by that place. Doctors who cure diseases or perform brain surgery, inventing shit that saves lives. Run for president. …but they had been denied even the simple pleasure of being ordinary.”
As you can imagine from the synopsis, this is a difficult book to read. But it’s an IMPORTANT book. So many victims of our nation’s twisted, sordid, racist past (and present) are forgotten or overlooked. The Nickel Boys is fiction, but it’s based on a real place. This book should make you uncomfortable and it should make you angry.
Whitehead’s writing is simple and direct – not flowery or elaborate – but packed with emotion, wisdom and vivid imagery.
“You can change the law but you can’t change people and how they treat each other.”