We Shall Overcome: A Novel
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (1/08)
“We Shall Overcome” is a great title for this novel. The theme of the book revolves around a young vision-impaired woman who is very fearful of living her life to the fullest extent. She has very little trust in the criminal justice system and is fearful of causing any problems that might have a negative impact on her father or his novelty business. What she doesn’t realize is that even though there are many people or situations that might be harmful to a person, not all situations end in negativity.
Ms. Taylor did a splendid job of describing what it is like to be vision-impaired and the obstacles one encounters to include being sheltered from the hazards of life, not living up to ones’ expectations and being mistrustful in general. One of the underlying themes was that regardless of what life has given you, it is up to you to make the choice of how your life will turn out.
My concern with this novel is that Ms. Taylor put too many crisis incidents in it that involved not only the main character, but the understudy characters as well. It was very difficult to keep track of. Several incidents come to my mind: the sheriff’s daughter was also vision-impaired and he would not let her attend any school activities, date, or be left alone; her best friend was date-raped; the main character was almost arrested in a war demonstration. In addition to all this, there were the personal and professional issues the main character went through. I would have much rather had the author do a series of the books revolving around the secondary characters. This would have made the story flow better and readers would be able to follow the story easier.
I do however; think “We Shall Overcome” was a good read and very informational when it came to describing what life is like for a vision-impaired person.