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THE OUTSKIRTS OF HOPE

by Jo Ivester

Published in 2015 by She Writes Press.

outskirts of hope

Reviewed by Christine Baleshta.

“If not us, who? If not now, when?” This quote by Robert Kennedy could well be the mantra of Jo Ivestor’s idealistic father as he enlists in President Johnson’s war on poverty and moves his family from Massachusetts to open a clinic in the poorest place in the nation. Leon Kruger announces one afternoon that the family is moving to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, leaving Jo’s mother, Aura, in shock. The last thing she wants is to be torn from family and friends, but soon finds herself driving through miles of cotton fields to an all black town settled by ex-slaves.

Leon immediately immerses himself in his responsibilities at the clinic as Jo and her brothers begin school, but Aura feels without purpose. Urged by her husband and recruited by the school’s superintendent…

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