Genres: Drama, Historical, Suspense
Format: Kindle, Paperback
The Final Departure by Epp Marsh III
In 1926, black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and the KKK establishes The Greater Liberia Act, stating that 12 million African Americans can choose to return to their homeland. For Ruth Gaines, though, her life is not in Africa with her family—it’s here in America with her white boyfriend, Lance Wainwright, and his wealthy family. Townsfolk don’t take Ruth and Lance’s romance seriously—until the two wed. The interracial marriage in a deeply racist American South suddenly sets off a firestorm outside the family home—and even inside it. Lance’s brother Clive prides himself in his “white America”—the America he claims belongs to him, not the inferior “darkies,” as he calls them. The concept of having a negro sister-in-law is unacceptable, but before Clive can tear apart Ruth and Lance’s world, his own world is rocked by the very townsfolk he trusted. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous American past, deeply segregated race issues, and the Great Depression, the Wainwright family finds itself embroiled in the middle of a race war—one in which not everyone may survive. Epp Marsh III’s debut novel The Final Departure is not to be missed.
Set in America, in the 1920’s, we have the wealthy white Wainwright family. Their son, Lance, is in a serious relationship, and eventually weds, Ruth Gaines, a young African American woman. There is much tension between the whites and the blacks. Lance’s brother Clive prides himself on being white and loves his white America. He aims to separate Lance and Ruth as he can’t fathom having a negro for a sister-in-law. But, Lance’s world is upset by the people in town that he trusted the most.
Ruth has the choice to go back to Africa or stay with her husband in America. The reason that Ruth has the choice to return to Africa is due to a black Nationalist leader named Marcus Garvey. He and the KKK established The Greater Liberia Act, which states that 12 million African Americans can choose to return to their homeland in Africa.
Set against the background of the great depression and when racial tensions were high, the Wainwright family must deal with being in the middle of a racial war. It’s a deadly situation, and the Wainwright family is central and caught up in the nightmare.
The Final Departure is a gripping tale of racial divisions back in the 1920’s. Author Epp Marsh III, writes an extraordinary novel that is compelling and engaging. He writes the racial issue well and true to its roots. It’s a very intelligent read and I actually learned a lot of history from it. It is authentic, original and very interesting. He portrays the tension between the romance of Lance and Ruth well. Not many would accept such a relationship back then.
This story isn’t for the person that is feeble at heart. It portrays racism as it was, savage, merciless and barbaric. The author Epp Marsh III holds nothing back. The stark truth that Ruth had to face to stay with her love, Lance, nonetheless, her being black and he white, because they were rounding up the blacks and if they didn’t leave to go back to Africa, they were hung right there in the streets. A very brutal and treacherous act was being inflicted upon them.
The Final Departure is a very emotional story. I found myself sad, angry and even crying at times. It is a remarkable historical fiction novel that delves into a sensitive subject. But, the author writes it so well and so true to the historical accounts of the time. I admire the amount of research and knowledge that was put into this book. The descriptions of the settings and people are decidedly graphic and detailed, it made me feel like I was there watching on as the story unfolded, and watching on as the family had to run from those that wanted to kill them. Very suspenseful and gripping.
The characters are well developed and multidimensional. I was impressed by the character’s evolution and their realistic personalities. The dialog between them flowed naturally with ease, and sometimes, tension due to the nature of the premise and storyline. I liked how the author started each chapter with a name, date and title. I was able to have a clear picture of what was happening and it caused me to follow the storyline much better. It is told through the eyes of the various characters. It really worked well and I applaud Epp Marsh III for his writing skills.
There is some beautiful poetry written within the pages of the story, poetry that touches the heart.
I was captivated from the very first chapter. I couldn’t put the book down and read it straight through in one sitting. I had to find out what was going to happen next. I was completely immersed and invested in the lives of the main characters. It is fast paced and certainly enjoyable. It’s one of the best books I have read in a long time. The Final Departure is a story that everyone should read. Although it is a tough subject to swallow, it is necessary and certainly entertaining.
Chick Lit Café highly recommends The Final Departure by Epp Marsh III to all readers.
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Excellent review and blog. I am will reading this book for sure. It sounds great.
Seems like a good read. I love the cover. I will be adding this one to my TBR list. I come to this book site almost daily – it is my favorite.